I'm exhausted. Not just some of the time, but all the time.
The thoughts in my head are moving at the speed of a jet plane, so all I can see are small glimpses of the things I need to get done, the things I want to do, the things others are expecting of me. Performing even one task all the way to completion seems to take an entire day with all the distractions of my thoughts and things pulling on me. The job of returning a text message from a friend can sometimes take a week before I gain the emotional energy to carry on a conversation. I become either extremely quiet or completely rude and short tempered. I start telling people that “If you don't do……. I am going to go crazy”. I have mainly put my happiness in the hands of others. The best I can do is drag myself to the end of the day so that I can wake up and do it again tomorrow.
Most of us have found ourselves in this situation at one time or another. Completely worn down by everything life throws at us. I am a business owner, a homeowner, a daughter, a coworker, a sister, a girlfriend, and a friend. I find myself with a lot of responsibilities and many things pulling me in different directions. Most of the time it is incredibly challenging. Being a business owner of a mental health, wellness, and substance abuse facility has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. I get to see people come in at one of the lowest points of their lives and see them transform their lives into something beautiful. At the same time, being a business owner has been one of the most challenging, stressful, and time-consuming experiences of my life. But it is about finding a balance in this paradox that has to become the focus.
Society has taught us that putting ourselves first is selfish. This selfishness has become especially true for parents and even more specifically, for mothers.
“We have lost our way on how to make and keep ourselves happy because we are always focusing on the needs of others or a daunting list of responsibilities.”
Most of us have forgotten to take care of ourselves. When you stop taking care of yourself, you get out of balance, and you then remember how to take care of others. We need to start re-programming ourselves to understand that what we do every day involves so much energy and work that we have a divine responsibility to take care of ourselves.
Start your day with purpose. Every morning make it a habit first thing to go into prayer/meditation. Seek guidance and focus on the responsibilities of the day and what you are going to do to take care of yourself today. Find time to take a walk, read a book, pamper yourself. It doesn't have to be something extravagant but purposeful. For me, it has been about aligning myself with what God wants from me each day and about finding a balance between having the freedom to do the things I want to do while still taking care of my responsibilities. Communication is also key. Connection creates partnerships and partners are here to assist you. No one can help you with things they don't know. Communicate to others about your needs. If you need help, ask for it. Take time to regroup, and do it unapologetically. The more balance you find, the happier you will be and the more fulfilling you will be for others around you. We all have a right to be satisfied and that is what drives us from the inside.
Audra is Co-owner and Executive Director at CorAspire Mental Health and Wellness Center. She is a Behavioral Health Case Manager II, is certified in Child Psychiatric Rehabilitation, and is a Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist. Audra provides behavioral health rehabilitation, behavioral health case management, and peer recovery services to adults and children. She received her Bachelors degree from Oklahoma State University. Audra’s passion is working with children and their families to empower them to reach their full potential. In her free time Audra enjoys sports, outdoor activities, reading, and spending time with loved ones.