Is your life full of responsibility, having to pick up the slack for those around you? Do you sometimes want to run away from this life?
If this describes you, there are some questions to ask yourself:
- Is everything I’m doing really necessary
Just because you can do something doesn’t always mean you should; for some people, doing for others is a habit. Doing things for others can sometimes rob them of the lessons they would learn from doing it themselves. What are you doing for others that they can do for themselves?
- Could I delegate something to someone else?
My mother often said, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” I heard it so often, I came to believe it. If you believe you are the only one who’s able to do it right, check yourself to see if that is really true. Delegation will free up time for you to do more of what you want, and your task may give someone the opportunity to do what they want. So, whenever possible, delegate something to someone else.
- Have I said ‘yes’ to things I really wanted to say ‘no’ to?
Because most of us want to be helpful, we often say ‘yes’ to things we want to say ‘no’ to. Is the weight of the world on your shoulders because you said ‘yes’ when you really wanted to say ‘no?’ What would your life look like if you took charge of it? Start saying ‘no’ when you want to, and stop sacrificing your time for people and things that don’t support your best interest – or even worse, harm it.
- Are there boundaries I can set to regain some control over my life?
It’s possible that boundaries are necessary to open up space for some peace in your life. Rather than being available to everyone for everything, you should honestly assess where you need to limit your time and attention. Find the balance of honoring yourself without hurting the important people in your life.
- Who do I have in my life that is willing to help me with my load?
It is important to have at least one other person in your life who is willing to help you with day-to-day responsibilities. Your responsibilities are your own, but on those days when you don’t believe you can accomplish all that’s required, do you have a person you can call on who would be willing to help? The people we know often fall into four categories:
- Those who are completely ignorant of your need for help.
- Those who offer to help but have no intention of actually doing so.
- Those who offer to help and really mean it, but need you to tell them what to do.
- Those who don’t offer but simply roll up their sleeves and do what needs to be done.
Wasting time on the people in the first two categories will increase your stress before they relieve any. People in the last category will never take time or energy from you; they will help carry your load without being asked. For those in the third category, you need to take time to think about what you could ask for help with. People in the third category genuinely want to help you, but they can’t do it unless you let them know how.
- Who do I have in my life I can talk with about everything?
When you are under a lot of stress, it is natural to isolate yourself. That point when you need help the most is usually when you begin to believe you are all alone. Who is your safe person that you can talk to when you just need to blow off steam? It is important to have someone in your life you can confide in. Instead of just one person, some people have various people they tell portions of their life to—for example, a friend for work gossip, another to relate with about kids, one to chat about sex with, etc. Either way works as long as you have someone trusted to speak to when you need. It’s unhealthy to hold onto something because you have no one you can trust with it, as keeping secrets just increases your daily stress level.
- What am I doing to replenish the energy I am expending on everyone and everything else?
When you are struggling under the weight of your life, it takes all you have to keep the balls in the air. This naturally depletes your energy reserves. It’s important to carve out some “you” time to be able to replenish the energy you expend. What quick things can you do to relax or play so you can rebuild your energy and strength? Can you grab a power nap? Can you take some time to exercise or meditate? Can you get to bed at a reasonable hour? Can you do some stretching? Can you read an article, call a friend, see a movie, or take a bubble bath? You need to be able take some time for yourself so you will be able to continue shouldering the responsibilities you call your life.
It is important to start Choosing Me Now.