I think that one of the things that makes me happiest in this world is knowing that I am caring for people I love. When I cook my parents dinner at my house, when my friends come over to watch The Bachelor and I feed them snacks and wine, when I do my boyfriend’s laundry or pack him lunches to eat at work during the week, when I babysit, or when I do some random act of kindness, I feel complete. I have always been this way.
Since I was a little girl I have gravitated towards playing games, pursuing careers, and studying specific courses that have to do with caring for someone else in one way or another. Originally I wanted to be an event planner where I could take the stress off of brides on their wedding day. Then I thought I wanted to be a lawyer for a minute, but when I realized I would have to help all people (not just those I agreed with) I dropped that idea real quick. After college when the professional world was getting to be too much for me, I got out of it and became a nanny and a personal trainer. I wanted to know that I was needed by those babies and by my clients whom I was helping to lose weight and become healthier.
One of the struggles I’m facing right now is that I don’t feel like I’m helping anyone in my current profession. I work in business, and while I am fully aware that you are really always helping others in any job you have, I don’t feel like mine is an important one or one that needs to be done. It’s tough when the one thing you are really passionate about in life isn’t incorporated with your career, which inevitably takes up most of your time. However, I feel so selfish when I say that. I know that I have a stable job with opportunities to grow and learn, but that’s just not enough for me anymore.
Something else that I am starting to realize (that I have really known and seen for a long time but don’t always abide by) is that if I take steps towards taking care of myself, other random things start to fall into place. For the longest time I have thought that it is selfish to put myself first, but I know now that if I make time to exercise, keep my house organized, see my friends, watch my TV shows, read a book, and write this blog, I feel way more energized and ready to take care of those around me in my life. Those I love and want to help, and those whom I may be doing it for because I feel like I have to. In either situation, it’s something that makes me happy in the end. And I’m not one of those people (*ahem,* men (;…..) that wants gratification for what they do. Sure, I’m going to teach my kids to say thank you, but if I do something else for someone else I generally don’t want them to make a big deal out of it. It embarrasses me for some reason? Attention isn’t my favorite thing, and it tends to make me super weird.
So maybe you’re like me and you love to do things for other people and that’s what energizes you, or maybe this makes you nervous and you’ve never really dabbled into going out of your way to take care of others. And either is fine! But either way, I think it’s so important to do the things that for you constitute taking care of yourself. And these are certainly different for every person. But if you think about it deep down, you know the things that help you to reset and recharge and that allow you to move on with the rest of your life. For me, if I don’t do the following things on a regular basis, I feel like I am going to lose it:
- Sleep enough each night – I swear I think I’m like a child sometimes in this regard. I can get by on 7 hours of sleep, but I certainly don’t prefer it. Over 8 hours (preferably 9) makes me have a way better day.
- Have alone time – When I am too busy I start to shut down. I just cannot be around other people 100% of the time. It is so important for me to have silence at home for at least an hour every day to avoid feeling completely exhausted.
- Exercise – This is probably the only thing in life that I have ever found to work at getting me out of my head. Any sort of workout helps, but yoga helps me to do it completely.
- Keep my house clean and organized – I used to have pretty bad OCD and it’s definitely still prevalent in some areas. I just cannot even begin to concentrate at work if I know that there is laundry to be folded, dishes to be put away, or an unorganized coffee table at home. Weird, but it goes a long way for me to make some time each morning to tidy up the house before I leave for the day and to set aside a few hours each weekend for a deep clean of my whole house.
- Stay in touch with my family and friends – I start to get sad when I go too long without seeing or talking to my immediate family and/or my best friends. I’ve learned how necessary it is for me to make time for them every single week.
- Eat well – Meal prepping is not my favorite, but it saves me a lot of sanity during the week to know that I am eating good, healthy food. On this note, having fresh produce in my house at all times helps me out a lot to know that when I’m ready to cook dinner, I have options and don’t have to go to the grocery store every day.
- Read, go for a walk, take a bath, stretch, sit outside, watch my shows, bake, and write – All those little activities that calm me down and make me happy that I don’t always think are important to make time for.
Again, those are just the things that work for me, but I really notice a difference in my ability to give myself to others when I take some time to give to myself.
What recharges you? Also, what did you think of The Bachelor finale last night?