How easily I can forget to take care of myself! Not intentionally, but it just happens; it creeps up on me. Life gets busier than usual—I am doing fine, then all of a sudden I am overwhelmed. How do I know I am overwhelmed? I find myself getting caught up in to many thoughts and feelings about work, home, family and friends, and I start short-changing the things I need. I start to think I can handle it all “if I just…” But instead, it can make me edgy, unhappy or downright unpleasant to be around.
What went wrong? I have stepped out of balance. So what do I do now? How do I get back in balance and take care of myself? I look at the things that work for me and see if I have neglected them. For instance, going to the gym is a big factor in keeping me feeling fit, both mentally and physically. I know if I make excuses to not go, it starts the ball rolling out of balance. Tie that together with taking on another responsibility without cutting back something else, and not asking for help, and I’m sure to get overwhelmed.
As a codependent, I have to always remind myself that I can only care for others if I am taking care of myself first. If what is important to me is to help others, I can’t lose who I am. So I have to listen to my higher power, go to meetings and be the one to listen to advice.
With those things in mind, my son’s program also taught me to watch for signs of being angry, hungry, lonely, and tired. Those apply to anyone on a daily basis, and if not in sync, they can make being off-balance get worse. Hungry is definitely something I need to watch. Three healthy meals a day helps to balance my moods and my ability to be receptive to hearing what is being said. A good night’s sleep helps me wake up wanting to meet the day head-on. It helps me think clearly and recognize how to keep the balance in my day’s routine.
Taking care of myself can be easy some days, and on others, it takes greater awareness and willingness on my part. Just like the morning meeting I have at my job everyday, I have to have a morning check-in with myself. I have to stop, give myself time to look at my day and circumstances, and make a plan. It gives me a better chance of having a healthy, happy, and fulfilled day. I have to remember to take care of myself and to do it daily. Are you taking care of yourself? It is worth it.