Be Well

Dec 14, 2022

There I was, working with a client in a routine wellness session and I was hit with one of those phrases that make me stop in my tracks and write it down. Why? Because it is so simple, yet at that moment feels so profound. I mean I teach these concepts to my clients every day. We are always working on some variety of self-care, self-discovery, setting boundaries, and healing from our past. I have been doing this for over 8 years, and every now and then, a phrase will hit me like a ton of bricks. This session was one of those times.

See, when we allow our boundaries to be ignored, when we put ourselves last, when we take care of everyone and everything else without also taking care of ourselves, we end up unwell. For some, that looks like burnout. For some, that manifests physically. Sometimes, it's chronic fatigue, a short temper, or turning to food, alcohol, or other substances to get through the day. That will due in the short term, but eventually, it causes distress that must be managed. Usually by that time, it is hard to break the habits that have been created. Your coworkers, friends, and family members are used to you being the “yes girl.” They are accustomed to you always being there for them, no matter what it costs you, and if it has led to this feeling of burnout and frustration, they likely don’t return the favor. Their unhealthy reliance on you creates an even harder situation to correct, so often we just stay in it and dig ourselves a deeper hole.

Here’s where that nugget of wisdom comes in:

You must be well, to care for others well.

Think about it, if you’re not at your best, it is so hard to give everyone else your best. It's like squeezing blood from a turnip, as they say. It is okay to be helpful. It is okay to continue to care about the people in your life. It is okay to extend a helping hand. When it becomes unwise, is when it starts to cause damage to your well-being. When the stress of doing so prevents you from meeting your self-care goals it is time to make some changes.

What those changes look like will rely on what priorities you have. If 10,000 steps a day is your priority and you have a desk job, maybe you request a desk treadmill. If your goal is to go to a Zumba class twice a week at 6 pm, then you make supper arrangements for your family prior to those days. If your goal is to lower your stress, then you say no to the social invites where the culprits of your stress will be present. You have to start by deciding what your priority is moving forward.

When you honor that priority, you will have more energy to give. It may seem counterproductive, but it's the same theory we use when we lay down at night. You know that staying up past your bedtime will only lead to feeling tired, sluggish, and unproductive the next day. Hold onto that concept when you're faced with the decision to honor your priorities, or someone else's. Will doing that thing cause me to be unwell? Will that subsequently cause me to be less than my best for my family/boss/spouse etc? If the answers are yes, and yes, then it is worth saying no.

If you need some help learning how to say no, check out this 5 step guide or get on my calendar and let’s work through it together.


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