“If you neglect to recharge a battery, it dies. And if you run full speed ahead without stopping for water, you lose momentum to finish the race.” – Oprah Winfrey, O Magazine, April 2003
I’m in final pre-deployment mode. As in 20-days-are-you-kidding?-There’s-not-enough-time!-How-am-I-ever-going-to-get-everything-done?-mode. My weekdays are spent working 9-10 hour days to bank time for extra-long weekends, and my “free” time is packed with working as a freelance project manager, blogging (erratically, I’ll admit) and taking a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University course. Oh, and let’s not forget about grocery shopping, cooking, laundry, errands, attempting half-marathon training and the ever elusive sleep.
I know you can relate.
I have a panic attack whenever I stop to think about everything I’m doing. How did I get here? How did I let myself get so busy?? It’s official. I am crazy.
But, at least I’m not alone. As women, we continually put other people ahead of ourselves. (I’m guessing this gets even worse when you become a parent.) Maybe it’s a need to feel needed. Maybe it’s in our DNA. Maybe it’s a learned trait. Whatever it is, it needs to STOP.
Now, I’m not saying you should say “NO” to everything that comes along. But, you should definitely start being more judicious with your “yeses.” Before you answer that often asked “Can you …?” question, ask yourself: “Will this enhance my life? or make it more stressful?”
I know, easier said than done. But, think about the quote above – “if you neglect to recharge a battery, it dies.” We are constantly running on empty-or near-empty-and hardly ever take the time to recharge!
Yes, I know-but HOW?? How do I find the time to recharge when I barely have time to shower every day? Trust me, I understand.
Take a moment to think about what you’d do with a free hour where you had ZERO responsibility: A relaxing bath? A trip to the gym? Grocery shopping without the kids? Coffee and the latest US magazine? Sounds blissful, doesn’t it?
Now, schedule that hour in next week. Maybe you have to ask your husband or neighbor to take the kids to the park. (Trust me, if you tell your neighbor you need a little alone time and will reciprocate for her, she’ll be all over the plan.)
I find it’s harder to take time for myself because I don’t have kids. I’m essentially on my own all day long. I don’t have an excuse for being so busy, except that I lack the ability to say no. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t need to recharge, too. For me, that means Skype dates with my girlfriends, movie nights or a trip to the library for a good book.
Whatever you do, be sure to find some time for yourself to do something you LOVE. Not only will you feel refreshed and ready to take on the next thing, but your family will benefit from it, too. And don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ – unless it’s a friend looking to swap babysitting services for her alone time!
Jessica Aycock is a certified holistic health coach, military brat and avid blogger. She received her health coach training from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in NYC. From her blog, Deployment Divas, Jessica educates military spouses and families about healthy living amid the chaos of military life. Jessica currently lives in NC and is about to undergo her first deployment as an Army girlfriend. She is the owner of Polished Editing Services, www.PolishedEditing.com. Follow Jessica’s blog at www.deploymentdivas.com.