"Stop the merry-go-round! I want to get off!"
Have you ever heard yourself say this? When life seems to be too busy, you’re running at breakneck speed and still not caught up, and you’re scheduling time in your calendar to sleep, you begin to feel like you’re on a very fast moving merry-go-round that just won’t stop.
You’re going round and round and round but not really going anywhere. Life can be a vicious circle like this at times. We run the risk of focusing on all those "emergencies" and forget to take care of ourselves in the process.
How exactly does one take care of oneself with so many things happening that absolutely, positively need to get done? Here are a few strategies I’ve learned over the years that may be helpful for you. Feel free to modify them so they can be most beneficial.
- You can’t do everything today. On most days, it is impossible to get every single thing done that you want or need to. Try as you may to do this, 9 times out of 10 when you go to bed (finally) you’ll think of that 1 task you forgot to do. Remind yourself that there is always tomorrow.
- Focus on the journey, not just the destination. This was a big one for me, because I’m the type of person who prefers closure and completeness. As soon as I had children, I began to struggle with this. I’ve since learned to relax in the journey and not get caught up in “getting there.” Otherwise, I run the risk of losing out on some of the best moments of my life.
- Be kind to yourself. Cut yourself some slack. You are not Super Woman or Super Man. You may think you are, but, truth be told, you’re not. Not only can you not do everything in a day, but you cannot do everything! You weren’t created to do it all. Decide what’s most important and focus on those priorities. Let the rest go. I have a strong hunch that you won’t miss them much.
- Simplify. Sure, it’s easier said than done, but when you take an honest look at all you’re involved in, you’ll agree that it is not all equally important. Decide what is most important and focus on those things. Ask yourself, "When I am old and reflecting on my life, will this have made a difference?" If the answer is yes, make room for it. If it’s no, it goes.
- Take care of yourself. Many people think that taking care of oneself is selfish. I prefer to call it “self-preservation.” If we continue to take care of others while neglecting ourselves, we will eventually come to a place of exhaustion, burn out and bitterness and will be in no shape to care for anyone. Do yourself a favor and do something you enjoy on a regular basis. You’ll be amazed at how much refreshing it brings to you and others!
You are important. There’s not another you in the entire universe. And only you can stop the merry-go-round and get off when you’ve had enough.
Feel free to share below one thing that you are doing to get off your merry-go-round and care for yourself. We all have to start somewhere. I’d love to hear your ideas and in the process you can encourage others.