When you need to take your own advice

Do you ever have seasons where you realize that you really need to take your own advice?

Yeah. Me too.

In fact, it’s where I’m at right now.

I see the words, “project manager. problem solver. simplifier” on my website header and cringe, because there are too many areas of my life that don’t feel very managed, or simple, right now.

I’m not looking to turn this blog into therapy. But I do believe that it’s critical to examine how emotions and the practical play together – and how they both play into our work and productivity.

And since I’m right in the thick of it, we’re going to dive in right where I’m at. I’m hopeful that this will resonate with some of you in similar places.

My incredible life coach recently challenged me by asking me what advice I would give to myself, if I were my own client. Ouch. Yep. I’d give a whole lot of advice to someone else in my shoes, but when it’s my own life I’ve got all sorts of excuses or reasons I “can’t.”

The (Brief) Backstory

The last few years have been a bit of a whirlwind in all areas of life – for me personally, for my immediate family, and for my extended family.

And I’m realizing that it’s finally caught up to me.

I’ve always been the person that get’s the, “Oh, you’re strong,” “How do you do it all?” “Wait, you don’t cry,” and more.

Recently, my answer to “How do you do it all?” has fairly consistently been a flat, “I don’t.”

There are logical reasons for me to be overwhelmed. I’ve take a few “life stressor” tests lately, and have scored off the charts as high risk for stress-related illness. None of the “life stressors” we’re facing are earth shattering, and some have been great (hello children!).

Cumulatively though, they’ve left me with nothing left to give.

And for the person who loves to accomplish, to do, to power through – that’s been hard.

Where I’m at Right Now

I’ve said yes to things that sound great, and look like they should fit in my schedule – and would under normal circumstances. I forget that I’m not normal right now.

Last week I had a near breakdown in the grocery store over an overdue library book notification. That was the point that I knew something had to give. This past week, I’ve called in all my resources for help with daily life, sought a doctor to determine what, if any medical issues are at play, and have prioritized self-care (which in this case, looks a lot like basic survival).

In talking to my husband, I’m realizing that this has probably been building for awhile – longer than I was aware, and I just finally hit a breaking point.

I can’t stay here (nor do I want to), and this is definitely the worst shape I’ve ever been in mentally. But it’s also not the first time I’ve driven myself to the brink with stress, often largely self-induced.

The plan is to take the fall (or however long it takes) to focus on where I’m at, how I got here, specific tactics for reducing stress, focusing priorities, focusing on healthy self-care, where to go from here, and anything else that strikes my fancy. It will be a little bit of self-care, a little bit goal-setting, and a whole lot of balance.

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