While we occasionally encounter people who are all about ‘me first’, there are also those among us who care deeply about others and act accordingly. However, sometimes we are faced with the question “How much can we give, how much should we give?”
There are many commitments we certainly accept without thinking twice. Having a full-time job, raising children, taking care of a sick family member, helping a friend through a crisis, working for charity organizations. We are willing to sacrifice time, energy, and money to support others.
This is all fine as long as there are enough resources left over for ourselves. There needs to be time to go for a walk, read a book, enjoy a hobby or meet with friends.
Sometimes we neglect the attention we need to give ourselves as the response to an emergency is short-term and we decide to ‘hang in there’.
However, if you go to bed exhausted every night, your mind filled with worries, you need to put more emphasis on self-care. Stress and burn-out will have long-term effects on you. Don’t disregard your own needs like healthy food, exercise, sufficient sleep, time alone and time with friends.
If you have reached a point of continuous physical fatigue, the ongoing stress is weighing you down emotionally, and you don’t even enjoy the things that made you happy in the past, the demands on you might have caused a (minor) depression. Do not ignore these signs but reach out to get help! Talk to a doctor, open up to a family member or a trusted friend. You need support and you deserve support!
No matter how you are affected by long-term demands on you, make sure you balance the caring for others with the caring for yourself. Be kind to yourself. Self-care is not self-indulgence, it is self-sustaining.
Even if you have to carve out time, take good care of yourself! You are worth it!
You can’t give if there is nothing left in you to give. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.
Wishing you a balanced week!