This article was first published on KSL.com
I am so stressed out that I’m falling apart physically. I’m sick, tired, worried and grouchy most of the time. In this state, I’m not the greatest parent and my marriage is struggling. The problem is I can’t change my situation. I have to keep this job and I have to keep giving to my family. So how do I change my feelings, outlook and behavior when I’m stuck in this situation. My stress isn’t going anywhere, so how do I handle it better?
The Urban Dictionary defines burned-out as “What occurs when you overwork yourself into a state of limited mental acuity, depleted emotions and strength completely drained from your body.” You sound burned-out and running on empty. You cannot live for extended periods of time without serious negative effects on your body and spirit. You also can't show up for others when you have nothing to give.
Even though you can’t change the situation that is causing your stress, There are lots of things you can do that would make a huge difference and fill your emotional tank back up.
First, you must identify all the things in your life that are draining your tank:
Some people struggle with self-care because they associate it with being lazy, self-indulgent or selfish. It is very important you don’t think this way. Keeping your own tank full is not self-indulgent, it is wise. You also perform better with a full tank. You are more creative, effective, giving and powerful when you are filled up emotionally.
Self-care is not self-indulgent. It is a sign of self-respect.
If people in your life don’t get this, that is not your problem. Even if they are bothered. If they reset you for this, they probably need some self care too, but feel too guilty to take it.
Also, if you have given too much for too long, the people in your life may have grown accustomed to your giving all the time and they now take your sacrifices for granted. They expect you to give without ever taking care of you.
The only way to change this (so they appreciate you more) is to show them that you are valuable and take care of yourself. This may mean saying no and on occasion sacrificing their needs for yours. They may not like this at first, but they will respect you more in the end for doing it, I promise. (Though don't go overboard and become selfish either. You must find a healthy balance.)
Here are some signs that your emotional tank is running low and you need more self-care:
You can do this.
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of claritypointcoaching.com. She is also the author of the new book "Choosing Clarity: The Path to Fearlessness" and a popular coach and speaker.
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Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.