So here’s something to think about … Everyone gets depleted from time to time. You know that ‘running on empty’ feeling even a full night’s sleep doesn’t seem to touch? Horrible isn’t it? Putting together a list of things that can nip that feeling in the bud before it kicks you behind the knees and floors you completely is a potential life-saver. A self-survival manifesto.
It’s good to think about what the things are that bring you to the point of no return. Is it family issues or family members in particular? Is it work? Is it kids and the incessant 24/7 care they require? Is it being burnt out from too much work or partying or (insert any other high -octane energy suck here)? You’ve got to identify the problem areas so you can begin to slow the pace. Start to retreat, work on building yourself up rather than barreling straight to burn out.
If you’re like me, it’s a heady cocktail of all of the above. I work hard, I’m a single mum to my two little girls, I like to try to strike a balance of socialising and at-home time, but even though I love all the elements and cling dearly to my professional, parental and party personas, they can wear out my wellbeing.
I’m with Marilyn when she said, “I restore myself when I’m alone”. And this is something I need to remind myself to do, as I tend to fight against it, thinking I need company to be happy (common, right?). The truth is, though, I need both. Alone time, particularly by the sea or in a forest, hits an inner spot and releases peace like nothing else. I feel re-charged, re-invigorated and re-invested in myself. I can sort out the thoughts that fly through my mind at miles per minute and after a while I reach an almost meditative state of calm. Not always – sometimes there’s too much going on to achieve a totally blank brain, but then I know that at least the fresh air is doing me good and I go home having achieved a bit of space for just me.
Feeling weary of soul? Try these ideas for size…
Getting off social media – even for an afternoon. You can do it – it’s remarkably liberating.
Politely declining – a party, a family gathering, a boss asking you to do more. It’ll feel weird, but it’s very worth it.
Gardening – yup! Nurturing and watching something grow is immensely satisfying (similar to having kids but a lot easier!)
Banishing your co-inhabitants from your house for a day – play any music you like, eat whatever you want, talk to yourself … the joys!
Ellie Balfe is on her way to the beach or a forest as we speak.