I know we all felt it; 2016 was a hard and heavy year.
It brought us to our knees, tested our personal power, and taught us some big life lessons.
For many of us, it felt like we were riding down a river of constant transition, hitting one rapid after the next, trying not to get swept away by the current. But no matter how furiously we paddled, the river still took us where it wanted to go, even if it was over the top of a waterfall.
How did you ride through 2016? Did you paddle harder when it got challenging? Or, did you put the paddles in your boat and ride the current?
There’s no right or wrong answer, but if 2016 left you feeling burnt out because you pushed harder than you ever have before, it’s time to set new priorities for yourself as you move into 2017.
So often, when we’re in transition we believe we’re burnt out because of the situation we’re in. If it’s moving to a new city, starting a new job, or taking the first steps on a new business, we blame our stressed out state or the change we’re going through. When in reality, we feel the way we do because we’ve placed our self-care at the bottom of our to-do list and ignored all personal boundaries.
Think back over the past year and ask yourself, have I...
… made decisions based on what others wanted instead of what I wanted?
… neglected taking care of myself so that I could help my family and others around me?
… spent my time and energy on things that lead me away from who I truly am?
… or, said yes to things I don’t really want to be doing?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above, you’re not alone. As women, we’ve all struggled with personal boundaries (myself included). It's part of being human.
But here’s the thing, you can put your self-care above everything else and say no unless it's something that truly fills you up. And you can do it, even when you’re in a major transition. In fact, it’s even more important to do so during turbulent times.
Because if you don't set boundaries and take care of yourself, your health and well-being are at stake. And if you’re neglecting yourself, you aren't helping your family and others around you.
To help you get started with this, I want to share with you a gentle practice that will guide you back to what’s most important. Something that will help you find a more resourced way to start 2017 and prevent burnout in the year ahead.
LIFE-GIVING AND LIFE-DRAINING
Start by opening your journal to a blank page. Then, draw a line down the middle, and on one side write “life-giving” and on the other write “life-draining”.
Set a timer for 5-minutes and brain dump everything that’s life-giving. Below are a few simple prompts and examples from my personal list to help you get started:
- What sustains me?
- What gives me energy and strength?
- What’s an absolute yes in my life?
My life-giving list includes: space, regular quiet time, totally unplugging one day a week, yin yoga, writing handwritten cards to the people I love most, wholesome meals that are easy to prepare, painting pictures, candlelit baths with essential oils, noticing what I’m grateful for and writing it in my journal, walking outside and taking in nature’s beauty, deep conversations with friends, trying new things that stretch and challenge me, and journaling.
When the bell rings, reset your timer to 5-minutes and move onto the next side. Brain dump everything that’s life-draining. Below are a few simple prompts and examples from my personal list to help you get started:
- What leaves me feeling depleted?
- What drains my energy?
- What’s an absolute no in my life?
My life-draining list includes: booking my calendar with back to back appointments and tasks, trying to do too much, clutter and messiness, logging on to Instagram too often, not communicating my needs or wants, zoning out on the Internet, being rushed, comparison, not moving my body daily, and loud, busy places.
Once you finish your two lists, notice how it feels to be grounded in what gives you life and what drains you. Continue to revisit your lists. Add to them, think about them, and make them part of your daily life. If you start to feel burnout creeping in, pull out the lists and shift towards what’s life-giving.
And if you want to share your insights and challenges with me, email me at [email protected] I'd love to hear how is goes with your lists making. :) I hope this practice helps to sustain and nourish you in the year ahead!
Warm hugs and big love,