In the past few weeks there have been challenging times. I touched on it in my last blog and the experience brought back a lot of emotions from past personal pain of my own that I could relate to. For me it meant a new phase in the healing process.
Between the emotions and running (figuratively speaking) straight for weeks without a break my body inevitably shut down due to illness. By this point I had no choice- I HAD to take a break and STOP!
I am an advocate for taking time for self-care and I am also continually learning about the Ebbs and Flows (That’s for you; Joc! 😉) of that beautiful concept that I love to share with others.
During the days that passed at what seemed like a snails pace during recovery, I was reminded of another amazing #brenemoment (thought leader – Brene Brown) that I heard in one of her audibles (The Power of Vulnerability). It was a huge “ah-ha” moment for me. She presented the idea that there are people (a large number, in my opinion) who believe they cannot stop, they keep themselves incredibly busy, essentially do not know how to slow down or feel like they cannot “afford” to get sick and take down time. In hearing this on the audible I was relieved. I realized that I was absolutely one of the people she was referring to AND there is something comforting in knowing that I wasn’t the only one who felt that way and ran that strategy. I have been and will continue to be practicing new habits that allow me to take time and recognize when I am not taking the time to rest and have down time to heal through emotional times, sickness, etc. The reason I want to take that time is because I have learned a few times now that by not taking that time in healthy ways, I diminished my capacity and energy to keep ‘doing’ and moving forward with life personally and professionally. In my current line of work I also understand that keeping busy and running on empty are coping mechanisms, that have kept me from addressing incredibly painful emotions and times of loss that I wanted to forget. Better yet; I wanted to pretend they didn’t exist, as if they weren’t even there. The new skills and habits came with assistance and support.
When I heard this concept in POV, I reflected back on how this played out in life years prior. I remember there being a time when I was proud of the amount of sick days I had because they were so low, which of course is amazing in one sense. I just also realized that it isn’t an accomplishment when there were times that I needed more time and didn’t take it.
In my wedding and event planning career specifically, I remember one of the times that stand out for me. I came down with a wicked throat infection but did that stop me? No way!! Oh I went into work, sick as a dog! I lasted about an hour or two into the work day when I got sent home because there was no way I could keep working being that ill. Although my physical symptoms were slowing me down by the minute, all I could think of was “Ok, what work can I do while at home?” and “I’ll take today but I HAVE to go back in tomorrow”. It was all I could do to take ONE day off to recover….That one day turned into 3 days and there was no way any work was getting done during that time.
The insanity that ran through my mind about ‘having’ to be at work and not being able to fathom taking the time off was RI-DIC-U-LOUS!!
My role at the time was at a Golf and Country Club. Naturally, due to the Golf environment the Club decreased in business from November to March. The mentality in that environment was that with so much down time in the winter months, all managers needed to be ‘all in’ in the summer/busy months. Translation: no extended time-off and I had convinced myself that I couldn’t afford a sick day or two between the months of May to November.
Right….I’ll just plan my sick schedule around the industry LOL.
And the best part was that for my role I was selling and planning EVERY month. The “down time” for my role looked different than the golf business trends.
The biggest take-away that I have come to learn is that I had no boundaries around my time and commitments. Somewhere along the way in my career (and well, life in general but today’s post is about career LOL) I developed this idea that I had to be everything to everyone and work my A#% off to prove myself and keep my j-o-b.
…I didn’t realize that it was at the cost of burning out professionally and personally.
This time around, after I recovered from being sick I recognized that sick days DO NOT make up for or replace days where I am well and taking time off from the all-consuming tasks and responsibilities of life, in any given week. I used to think that if I was sick I would have to work the rest of the week for longer hours and over-extend myself to make up for the lost time. This time I allowed myself down time when I felt healthy again because it was incredibly needed to keep longevity of the healthy recovery.
It was a huge awareness that I had to learn how to set boundaries with myself. From small things like, during a week that has been packed, taking a night off to do my own thing and rest and reconnect personally Instead of doing a last minute event out. Or saying no to an extra event for business when I knew I had work in my business to complete on a deadline and needed to extra time to focus and complete the tasks.I have a very straight-forward process that I use to practice the art of saying no and setting boundaries. I am grateful to have this tool and to share it with others.
If you’d like to receive the process for boundaries and saying no, I would be happy to! Reach out via the contact form, Email or on Facebook private message.
I believe that no matter the demands on life whether being a parent, having a high-demand career, care-taking for ill family members; there are absolutely ways to get resourceful and find space for down time to heal and recover and stay rejuvenated.
Dream BIG my friends ♥