It’s not uncommon to want things in your life to flow with ease. Yet, you wake up in the morning with a fresh perspective but find yourself worn down later in the day. Perhaps as a professional, you’ve lost a patient, or as a family caregiver, it’s another day of fumbling with the right words to say that create a positive outcome with your loved one.
All of this can chip away at your emotions over time. The emotional outcome might be feelings of failure, worthlessness, hopelessness, or any other emotion. Perhaps your head ends up filled with thoughts like, “I’ll never be able to…” or “If only I had….” It’s understandable. All of it. And the things your mind keeps chattering at you only serve to distract and exhaust you.
When life gets to that point, are you willing to reach out for help, or do you have a nagging sense that doing so would be admitting failure? Discussing what you are going through with peers, friends, support groups, or professionals can make a significant difference. I reached out to all of those when I was caregiving, and it honestly helped.
Being aware of my frame of mind became important during my caregiving days, and still is. I’ve learned to catch the negative mind chatter and begin reframing it. I’m not perfect at it, but once I started a pattern of changing the framework of my thoughts, I felt a significant difference. There is a powerful force in the energy we create, so rephrasing “I can’t believe I did that!’ into “I made a mistake. The next time I’m going to slow down and not rush into action. I will find a resolution,” is the difference between self-chastisement and self-awareness.
Something else to consider is that we tend to make mistakes when we’ve hit burnout. You push through your days because you have to. Work, family, food shopping, budgeting, household needs … and somehow in there, you’re supposed to practice taking care of yourself, too. What all of us forget (yes, myself included) is that if we don’t stop long enough to do something just for ourselves, we’ll begin to unravel. This past weekend with a stack of things to do, I knew I was running thin. It was a rainy day, so I pulled the plug and watched movies. I made a healthy, warm dinner later and I felt renewed. We can’t always take that long of a break, but I can guarantee that not doing something for yourself will drain you.
When you’re drained, the care you are giving is drained too. No one wins. What are you doing to have fun, to bring happiness into your life? What sets your soul on fire? What brings out that childlike joy? Is it taking a walk outside? Pulling out the paints and start crafting something? Creating a new garden? Watching a movie marathon?
Believe in yourself. Believe in the amazing human that you are touching so many lives through the day. Create a life of balance, for yourself, and those around you. Silence the mind-chatter and use that energy for the better.