Lots of my clients seem to be running on empty this month. Previously I’ve written about the need to take proper breaks and holidays—to take time to renew, so that we’re at our best for whatever we’re doing, whether that be working, playing, creating, caring, socialising…
People have been reporting back that, whilst they understand the importance of renewal, it’s just not possible for them right now. They have too many other priorities, too many obligations, too many people who need to be attended to before they get to have some down time. Whether it’s young children, elderly parents, a demanding boss or simply a busy social life, these people are being run ragged by their lives and sit slumped on my coaching sofa looking pale and tearful.
That might sound extreme, but most of us have experienced something similar at some point. Sometimes life throws events or circumstances at us that require us to dig deep and soldier on. Humans are resilient and can do this. But not for extended periods of time. When we continually put ourselves at the bottom of the ‘to do’ list, there will eventually be unwanted consequences in terms of unhappiness, ill-health, and/or depression. And then we’re no help to anyone.
- Take a long hard look at yourself; are you fit for purpose?
- Do you have sufficient resources, energy and time to devote to creating a life that you’d actually choose?
- If not, what one small step could you take to building up whatever’s missing? If it’s energy, what will you do to build yours? If it’s time, from where can you grab some?
- Who or what, might have to move down the priority list in order for you to move to the top?
- If things like ‘go to yoga’ languish at the bottom of your to do list, what if you turn the list upside down, so they’re at the top (as I heard in a genius talk the other day by Jenny Phillips of Inspired Nutrition)?
Here comes the unpleasant bit (sorry!):
- If you weren’t here (i.e. you were dead, or you’d had enough and disappeared in the middle of the night) what would those who rely on you do? (Whether they be friends, family or work colleagues.)
- How would they cope in your absence?
- Would they cope? If the answer’s yes, you can afford to put yourself first more often. If the answer’s no, you can afford to put yourself first more often!
When it’s put like this, does it hit home just how much you’re needed, valued and loved? What are you going to do differently now?
Do let me know how you get on.