Over the last two days I have been extremely busy. I have been dealing with several unexpected events at once. As I pulled back into the driveway today I parked the car, sat very still and took a deep breath.
You know the type of breath I am talking about. You have been on autopilot managing your very own personal circus. You have handled everything that you could handle and are now spent. You feel you have run a marathon and just barely managed to cross the finish line. You inhale deeply, and exhale while your arms fall into your lap because you are completely, utterly, and totally spent. You close your eyes for that brief moment. Then you take another deep breath and open your eyes not really refreshed, but knowing other things are still waiting.
What Comes Next?
So what is the first thing you need to do after that deep breath? There is always something else waiting in line. Tasks need to be done, people who need attention, and projects that need progress. Which do you pick? I suggest that you do not pick any of them. The first thing you do is take at least 10 minutes for yourself. These are the steps I take in those minutes, and I suggest you give them a try.
- I acknowledge that I am spent. Do not pretend to yourself or anyone else that you are superwoman. You can jump back into that role later if you so chose, but right now at this very moment say to yourself out loud, “I am mentally, physically, and spiritually drained.”
- I remind myself that while there are always those better off, there are also those that have it worse than I am. Do not downplay what you are going through, but do not allow yourself room to start wallowing, either.
- I make a written game plan on how to replenish myself. Recognize that unless you are taking care of yourself, you will not be able to offer your full potential to the people and responsibilities in your care.
- I schedule the items on my game plan. It is all well and good to plan to do for yourself, but planning without implementing does not accomplish anything. When there are so many other things needing your attention, it becomes very easy to keep putting off the items you do just for you. Make appointments for ME Time on your calendar and keep them.
- Then and only then do I reevaluate my to do list and start to reset my environments as needed.
What Do You Do?
Over the next few days, I want to go into more detail about the game plan, resetting environments and to-do lists. But first, I would really like to hear from you. Do you have these moments? How do you get started again? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments.