Super Loving. Extra Caring. Really prone to putting everyone else first.
They’re committing to more, even when they’re collapsing in a heap from exhaustion most nights.
They’re pushing beyond the warning signs, ignoring the wisdom offered by their bodies, and soldiering on even when nagging illness prevails.
They’re doing anything to avoid disappointing anyone and they snack on overwhelm, scarcity and worry.
They fear if they stop, say no, or take a break they’ll miss an opportunity, or even worse their children will.
I recognise them because I’ve been them.
None of us want to fall ill, fall down, rant, rave and cry in the car park, so why don’t we stop?
Why are we trying to do too much, all at once?
Maybe it’s because we’re told we can have it all and do it all, and when we can’t we should try even harder. We should get better at time management, be more organised and find ways to fit more in. And so we look for the next hack, the next multi-tasking juggling act that’ll help us get it all done.
Maybe it’s because we’re comparing our behind the scenes crazy to the highlight reel on social media, and all this does is leave us feeling ‘less than’. And so we do more in the hope of catching up to this made up fantasy.
Maybe it’s because when we’re more-generous-than-expected it makes us feel good, and offers a distraction from our challenges and frustrations. “I can’t deal with my stuff now, I’m too busy helping everyone else.”
Maybe it’s because we’re born to nurture. We want to nourish our young, support the providers and yet we’ve been told to keep our career options twirling. So we dash from one to the other trying to keep all balls in the air.
Maybe it’s because we feel guilty, lost and uncomfortable when we slow down.
Whatever your reason may be, so many women have a tendency to keep giving, even when they have nothing left in the tank.
Here’s what I’ve learned…
Giving at the expense of your happiness doesn’t make you happy, in fact it makes you miserable.
Giving at the expense of your dreams only ever leads to resentment.
Giving at the expense of your health will leave you ill. And giving at the expense of your rest will only deplete you more.
Giving at the expense of YOU will ultimately cause something precious to break.
Giving should only ever come from a place of abundance.
To give ,when you have enough to give, will fill you up in ways I cannot explain.
It will light up your path and serve others in ways that feel good to them.
There are times when boundaries are needed, fiercely guarded gates that surround your time, energy and attention.
Gates that come up when you need to protect yourself.
When you are healing, grieving, growing, changing, building.
When you are recovering, restoring, replenishing – emotionally, spiritually, mentally physically.
Boundaries are needed for you to show up and be at your best for those you love.
You need energy for the things that matter.
You need time to devote to those you love.
You need focus to contribute value to this world.
Pay attention, know your limits, and put your boundaries up before you collapse in a sobbing heap.
Lack of attention, tiredness, headaches, complaining, clumsiness, insomnia, frustration, fatigue, resentment, crankiness, sadness are all signs that you’re beyond your limits.
Take action to rest and restore.
Get an early night, take a hot shower, write all your worries down, hug your love, watch a comedy, curl up with the cat, walk the dog, jump on the trampoline.
Say no to that nagging request and yes to the yoga class. Smother your body in essential oils, ring your bestie, have a cuppa, ignore the washing, write an article, swing in a hammock, watch the sunset, walk on the beach.
Or simply stop and sit.
Sit in silence, breathe deeply and celebrating the 5 precious minutes you’ve just given to yourself.