These two words, represent an idea that few people seem to do effectively. Most people work long hours until they get sick, do not eat well, fail to get adequate rest, and do other things that are not healthy or good in providing positive results in their life. If you find that this might be true in your own life, then I encourage you to keep reading. I too am just as susceptible to this lack of awareness in keeping myself balanced. I tend to try to do too much in one day, and usually end up being ineffective in doing most of it when I don't take time out to rest, eat, enjoy life, and find balance.
I spoke to a woman today who works 12 hour days, and commutes. I commented that when we get to the place where we forget to take care of ourselves, it becomes a routine not to do it, and that we then run the risk of a whole host of other issues. Poor health, exhaustion, and lack of balance, just to name a few. We need to decide to give ourselves time for ourselves. We need to reflect on our wants and needs and make sure that we can create a balance that offers us a chance to be productive in living our lives, but also finding time for rest and renewal.
This is where going for walks, watching a movie, spending time with friends, playing with our pets, or just sitting and listening to our breath can become spaces of time that we will thank ourselves for later. If you find yourself not able to function and do all the things you are use to do doing, I would encourage you to take a step back and look at where you are putting your energy. Is any of it for yourself? If you are in a toxic relationship for example, consider the impact it has on you and what you need to do to take care of yourself. if the issue is over work or some other matter, what can you do to create peace and harmony in your life. You deserve to have it, and no one else can really give it to you. So it becomes hugely important to take time on a regular basis and look within and without, and find ways to increase self-care. Counseling can be helpful in this was too, and if you find the need to pursue counseling you will likely find a supportive ear as you explore ways to create more balance in your live. May you be willing to take greater care of your life, as a gift to yourself.
Shawn Thomas Berthel M.S., is the owner of Life Path Counseling PLLC, and a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor. He lives in University Place, Washington.