Can we commit to 2024 as a burnout free year? The year you, the high achiever, puts your achieving energy towards yourself to create more harmony in your life – the life you are working so hard to build and succeed at. In fact, wouldn’t it be nice to have space and time to enjoy it?
This isn’t a new concept, we’ve heard it before: “Put your oxygen mask on first” and as smart, intelligent women we understand, logically, why we “should” be taking care of ourselves but at the same time, with life moving so fast, demands on our time coming from so many different angles, and our desire to achieve, succeed, serve, perfect, and rise we don’t create the time for ourselves.
I’ve spoken with so many women over the past year who have told me stories of burning out so badly they’ve been hospitalized (and still answered emails), of working all vacation because its just easier than trying to get “it” all done to be off, of not sleeping more than 4 – 5 hours a night, of running constantly from one thing to the next, of not even knowing what alone time looks like (unless you count sitting alone in the car waiting for your kids) and it goes on and on.
Women give their time, energy and love away to everyone and everything else leaving nothing for themselves and then they wonder why they are always feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, anxious, resentful, guilty, not good enough.
Too many women have fallen to the bottom of their own priority list and it’s time to make your way back up to the top (yes top) of that list.
This year make a self care commitment to yourself!
Here are some of my top tips:
1. Put yourself on your calendar: On Sundays I plan my week, physically adding myself to my schedule. I build time right into my calendar which is protected (just like a client meeting would be) for my needs/wants. I ask myself how I want to feel this week, what is important for me to accomplish, what will serve me and then I block it in my calendar. I put myself on the calendar first and plan the rest around it.
2. Self-Connection: I start my days with my morning routine – time just for me. I wake up about an hour before the rest of my family and have space to myself. I don’t always do the same things, but my mornings usually include some form of movement/exercise, breathwork, journalling, and even just sitting drinking my coffee outside (on the warmer days). Self connection is the main goal here. A time for me to check in with me. Ps…. Also scheduling short breaks throughout your day is important to realign with yourself.
3. Fuel: I need to fuel my body, mind and soul – it’s been a learning experience to know what it takes to do this. For me it is water, lots of snacks throughout the day, connection with my family, hugs, music, breathwork and nature. Find what it is for you.
4. Sleep: Don’t underestimate the value of rest. I love this reframe….instead of thinking “have I done enough to earn this rest?” try “Am I rested enough to do my best work?”. Sleep is vital for your overall health, productivity, mindset and energy. Creating a bedtime routine that allows me 7-8 hours of sleep a night was just as powerful for me as my morning routine.
5. Boundaries: Learning to create, communicate and hold boundaries has been hugely important in my self care commitment. I can’t be in 3 places at once (nor do I want to be) and learning how to say “No” to certain requests has created so much more capacity for me to say “Yes” to my priorities.
6. Challenge your beliefs: old stories, limiting beliefs and other people may create confusion or resistance for you and I encourage you to reflect on your beliefs by asking yourself these four questions.
- a. Is it true? (ie. I don’t have time to take care of myself)
- b. Do I know 100% that is true?
- c. How do I feel/act/behave when I believe this thought?
- d. How would I feel/act/behave without that thought?
Building these strategies into my daily/weekly life has been a game-changer for me in ensuring I’m on my priority list, calendar, and truly enjoying the life I’m creating. I feel calmer and more present in my life and off that hamster wheel.
So, what do you think? Can this year be the year you make yourself a priority? Or…. Will it have to wait (again)?
Contributing Author: Ashlee Livingstone Personal Growth & Emotional Wellness Coach