You are a giving person. You care about your family and friends, and even try to help strangers whenever you can.
But some days you just can’t take it anymore. You’ve been worn down, turned over, and worn out on the other side as well.
How did this happen?
You may be suffering from a lack of balance in your life.
It may be time to start saying no.
“No”: the other magic word
There’s nothing wrong with being the giving, loving, loyal, valuable individual you are. But sometimes it’s important to remember that you are valuable no matter how much or how little you do. Your value as a person is inherent and infinite. No failing or mistake or limitation on your part can take that away.
Sometimes you need a chance to remind yourself of this. But you can’t do that if you set expectations for yourself too high and commit to too much.
“Can you take on a part of this project for me? I’m just swamped.”
“Do you mind watching my kids tonight? My sitter backed out at the last moment.”
“We were looking for someone to chair the dance committee. Would you be willing to help out?”
If you say yes to one of these things, you have to live with the reality that you may have to say no to the other two. This doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you a mortal human being with a predicted lifespan of roughly 80 years only 24 hours allotted to you each day, just the same as everyone else. Thinking you are more than this is a lie you tell yourself, and it’s not doing you any good.
Saying no to things can be powerful because it can get you out of your own way. You’re acknowledging the truth about yourself–that you need care and nurturing just like everyone else. It’s amazing how easy it is to lose sight of that, and lose yourself in the process.
How do I find myself again?
It doesn’t have to take long, and nobody will resent you for taking care of yourself first.
Take a walk.
Study and practice the art of relaxation.
Piling your plate with too much may give you some sense of being a busy, accomplished person, but buckle up: other people may not see you that way.
Your kids may see you as being too busy to give them the attention they crave.
Your boss may see you as someone who struggles to follow through.
Your significant other may be sensing you drifting away.
When you take care of yourself, you’ll find that all the people in your life will light up as you engage them more fully and completely with your whole self.
So when you hear that little voice in your head saying you’re “too busy,” that voice may be exactly right.
And now you know what to do about it.
Tom Gunn is the marketing director and blog editor at The Good Life Massage. Follow him on Twitter @tomgunnpoet