So, I’m feeling a little lazy lately with being on Spring Break, but this just spoke to me and my life lately and I wanted to share with all of you.
I’ve had to say “no” a bit lately for various reasons (and I know I’m being a little cryptic here) but for my own sanity and just do to lack of time in some ways, I’ve had to say no to people I love and care about and others that I maybe don’t like as much.
I can’t do everything, I’m not SuperWoman and I recognize that and it’s okay for me to realize that. It’s not okay to everyone else, especially when I say no and someone is offended. But, I’ve also learned that’s the other person’s issue, not mine. If I’ve said no and given a reasonable explanation (depending on who the person is, I don’t even feel the need to explain myself) then I remove myself from the situation. If I don’t have the time or ability to handle what they are asking, then I probably also don’t the time or the ability to deal with the guilt they are trying to lay on me, so I remove myself and allow them to deal and process with what I have said to them.
There is a lot on my plate in this season of my life and even still with everything, I still have to take care of myself because I don’t expect anyone else to take care of me. Yes, I have Devon, which to some means that I’m fully “taken care of” and am able to take care of others because he takes care of me (yes, I’ve heard this before). But, I don’t expect Devon to take care of me; he is definitely my biggest supporter but I don’t expect that from him. He has to take care of himself, too, the way I need to take care of myself.
So, if I say no, it could be because I have a previous commitment, which doesn’t necessarily mean it’s “more important” than what is being asked of me now, it just means I made a commitment prior that I feel I should keep and commitments are very important to me. It could just be because I need five minutes to myself to do nothing in a day where I am running all over the place to get a million other things done.
One thing you learn as a counselor is that if you don’t take care of yourself first, you will be of no use to anyone else. It seems very counterproductive and almost selfish at times, but it’s true. Counselors take care of so many other people and wind up becoming caretakers a lot in their personal lives, as well, because they are seen as the people who can take care of anything and everything. For most of us, that’s fine and we can handle it, but we still need to take care of ourselves. If we’re exhausted (physically or mentally/emotionally) or starving because we haven’t been able to eat all day, or just going in 10 different directions; we can’t do as much for other people.
Obviously this doesn’t just apply to counselors, it should apply to everyone. Take care of yourself first because you can’t help others or care for others if you aren’t cared for. It may seem selfish but in reality, it’s the best thing you can do for you and for those you care about. That will mean saying no at some point, even to someone you love.
If you’ve managed to stick with me through this tangent that I went off on then just remember to take some time for yourself and do something for yourself that energizes you or recharges you. You deserve to do just as much for yourself as you do for everyone else.