This evening’s walk around the neighborhood at sunset was exactly what I needed to bring me in tune with my surroundings, and create a space for me to reflect upon an incredibly stressful week… month… year… life.
I haven’t been taking care of myself over the last month or so, and it hasn’t been a good feeling. Stress has been extremely high at work. When I become stressed and overwhelmed (which doesn’t take much, I am a very sensitive person), I quickly throw all the good habits I’ve been trying to build out the window.
My natural response in these times of stress is to push myself harder and punish myself. I give up my sleep habits, I stop taking mindful breaks to eat and drink water during the day, I stop meditating and exercising, and give up a lot of essential hygiene. Instead, I work until 3am (which I did three times this week) and distract myself from the important things I should be doing. Anything that I do successfully manage to accomplish takes way longer than it should have. In short, everything comes crashing down, and I burn out—feeling like a complete failure and back at square one.
And I’ve been in this same exact situation a million times before.
Until a year and a half ago, I’d always thought my go-go-go approach to living life was the only way to live. If I gave any less effort, I wasn’t doing good enough. Then I started seeing my amazing mental health therapist and unraveling the past 30-plus years of my life in an effort to better understand myself. After burning out so many times, I said to myself, I’m so tired of being tired all the time. I can’t keep going on like this. It isn’t sustainable.
Gaining that level of self-awareness was a big turning point for me. I don’t think I’ve ever put so much effort into taking care of myself than I have in the least year and a half. And so, even today as I began writing this blog feeling like a complete failure, I must remind myself that I am trying. I am good enough.
It’s okay that I’ve been here a million times before, and it’s okay not to feel good about that. But I’m going to try again because it’s a hell of a lot better than doing nothing at all, and I’m just getting started.
My intention for next week? Try to notice when I’m becoming stressed, and instead of giving up, go for a walk and get a breath of fresh air. ❤️