Taking care of your self should be the top priority on everyone’s lists. Often, it isn’t, and it just leads to bad things. Burn out, overwhelming stress, nervous breakdowns—or even just a significant layer of unhappiness.
None of those are good things. But sometimes it’s difficult to tell what you need. We are not used to taking care of ourselves. Sometimes we just add things into our schedule because they’re fun and we like them, without thinking about the mental and physical toll all that stuff will take over time. And sometimes we do things for other people instead of or before we do things for us. Especially women – we are taught to take care of others, and that others needs come before ours.
In this era of “more more more” and nonstop work, outside pressure can come from jobs to always be available, from friends to always answer your call, and from you, to think that you always need to be doing more and better. But without taking time to stop and reflect on what we’re doing and how that affects us, we can dig ourselves into a deep hole that is extremely difficult to climb out of.
Stress becomes something we’re used to, something that just always is. So we never question the addition of more stress. Or maybe we do, but only when we’re so miserable that something has to give.
Lives should not be lived with stress as a driving force.
In the simplest terms, we can look at what adds the most stress to our lives and try to remove that from our schedule and ourselves. But sometimes that’s not possible, or we don’t want to, because there are other reasons we are doing that thing that adds stress. And in that case, we should look at all the other straws our donkey is carrying on its back. We should try to remove those straws that are less necessary, or weigh more heavily despite their size, so that they do not become the last straw, the straw that broke the donkey’s back.
Sometimes that’s difficult, because you might be invested in those little straws. But you’re also invested in the big straws. And at a certain point, enough little straws add up to a big straw.
Remove what you can from your life, from your schedule, so that you can live life more pleasantly. And maybe that means cutting one of the big straws in half – working fewer hours at your job or volunteer position or hobby. Whatever works.
In that vein, I will be taking a hiatus from this blog. I just don’t have a queue waiting and my schedule is so busy right now that I can’t take the time to write more posts. I’ll probably still be posting on tumblr occasionally, but I tend to create a queue there fairly easily (because almost none of it is original material, I just reblog over there). I do love posting here, and I will be back, but not until June 23, possibly June 30.