First Things First: The Art of Improving Yourself
I have a confession to make. I don't have much to write when it comes to improving your home. I'm not improving my house right now. There are no projects on deck. This is the year we finish our basement and replace carpet but I can't even wrap my mind around that right now. At the moment, I'm not adding or subtracting value to my home. Well, I take that back. The messy laundry and toys sprawled all over my floor and are probably subtracting value. But I'm not worrying about that right now. I'm going back to the basics right now. Can't really start doing long division until you've mastered your basic math facts, right? Same is true with life.
I am a recovering burnout victim. The final quarter of 2016 put me in the red. The flames of stress and too little sleep and the coals of giving too much of myself without replenishing my reserve tank made me self combust. Anyone ever done that? I visit burnout about every 2-3 years. It's something I do to myself. I tend to be extreme when it comes to accomplishing something. I go full force. I give it my all. Literally. Eventually the match gets thrown and I burn up.
You know what two things don't go together?
Burnout and Joy.
Nope. No co-existing happening there.
So there I was at the beginning of 2017, trying to come up with my ONE word (Like Jen's post) for the new year. And the only word I could think of was "Wellness." That's the word that could replace NO MORE STRESS! ABORT! ENOUGH! YOU'RE BURNING! PUT OUT THE FIRE!
Yes. Wellness. It has a more positive ring to it.
On our blog here we give lots of pointers and do our very best to inspire you to create the feeling you want in your home so that you can have JOY in your life. Value in life. Value in your homes. We want you to experience the wealth that comes from having value. Sometimes that means we need to put ourselves in a vulnerable situation so that we can share what works and doesn't work for us. I loved this post by Brady, "When you make new goals and life punches you in the face." It's so true! Nothing every works out 100% of the time to anyone! And being vulnerable is a great thing. Here's another great book to add to your reading list that talks about being vulnerable; "Rising Strong" by Brene Brown.
So, I'm here to walk us all through the process or art of caring for ourselves. When life has burned you, it's time for healing. Time to throw on some life-giving water and put out the flames. Let's face it, are we any good to anyone if we're a heap of ash on the ground?
Believe me, we're not able to accomplish much. Not until first things have become first again. What are the first things? It's so simple but so amazing that we can forget to do the small and simple things.
There is an art to caring for ourselves. Here is how I have been repairing the so-called burn out marks that scarred me from last year...
1. Put down the phone.
I'm sure you've all seen this and you probably have Simon Sinek's voice in the back of your mind every time you scroll through Facebook or Insta.
But if watching this video isn't motivation enough to put it down, I don't know what more I could say.
I promise that seeing that person you don't know on IG who lives in sunny Hawaii isn't going to make you feel better about living in Utah right now (especially with our inversion and sunless sky.) Don't be fooled.
2. Get Moving
I love running. I try to run a marathon a year, not because that sounds cool but because that's the kind of mental endorphins my body needs in order to feel sane. Hours and hours of mental therapy. That's what marathon training does for me. Last year I vetoed training and only made it through 7 miles of my marathon. Bummer.
I'm seeing a pattern here. My hardest years are the ones where I don't put in the effort to keep my body healthy.
I'm not suggesting you take up marathon running, but I am suggesting some kind of physical activity. Your brain needs it. We all know that. So, here's a good opportunity to ask you how your New Years Resolution to become healthier is going? If you put down your phone, you might find you have more time for some endorphins. Just sayin.
Burnout and missed sleep go hand in hand. Stop thinking your body can go without so that you can get more done. I'm pointing all fingers at myself right now. The house is so quiet and peaceful at night. But alas, it does not work that way. I fall for this trap and always get burned. Unless you enjoy being tired and spent, don't skip the Z's.
4. Create/ Do Something You Love
Are you a closet singer/musician? Dancer? Cook? Artist? Golfer? Knitter? Photographer? Carpenter? Writer?
We all have the gift to create something. That is innate within us. The beauty of life is that we all have different talents. If you're not tapping into those than you're missing out on the joy those hobbies can bring. Stop being so serious! Again, talking to myself here. Go do something that you truly love to do once in a while.
I started the year out by getting a pass at a local climbing gym. Every week I get to go climb a mountain. It feeds my social, mental and physical tank all at the same time. Have I once regretted it? Nope.
Am I feeling burned out when I'm doing it? Nope.
5. Time with Loved Ones
Last but not least. This should be first. Again, put the phone down. Engage with real people. Talk over your stresses with a loved one. Enjoy time together, eating together, enjoying each other.
Something that has helped us is to bring up all of our games. Yep, like old school board games. We've been playing more of them lately. They sit right by the kitchen table.
Slow down. Take time to be with your loved ones.
Each one of these things can extinguish the flames of stress and burnout. They're so simple and such common sense. But somehow I still forget to put these things first.
I hope your year is off to a great start and you are creating a beautiful masterpiece with the art of caring for yourself.
Lots of love,
Mandy Cheney is a contributing Blogger for Prime.
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