I have got to learn this life is a marathon, not a sprint. Every year I run the risk of burnout. Every year I pile too many things on my plate and then wonder why I’m crabby, irritable, lack energy, and “work all the time.”
Last March, my blood pressure spiked to 183/112, dangerously high due to work stress. I wasn’t taking care of myself and I don’t know about you, but when my readings were at that level, worrying about them caused them to go higher or stay high.
God helped me put some action steps in place in order to get it lowered naturally and stay down. However, as spring rolled into summer and different stresses vied for my attention, I slowly went back to baseline with more stress, more work, and less self care.
This year, I want to make my health a priority. While I could easily be replaced in a heartbeat at work, I am irreplaceable to my family.
Starting last fall, I started getting serious again about my health. Staying off the computer on the weekends so I could catch up on things around the house, spend time with my family, and give my brain a break.
I’ve limited my late nights (and working at night) to twice a week. I have started to exercise regularly again; I have healthy foods (some quick and easy like apples, string cheese, walnuts, etc.) that are pre-planned for breakfast and lunches, and more importantly than work and eating/exercise changes are the emotional changes.
In order to function at my best, I need a break from working mode to allow myself to relax. Maybe that means going to bed early some nights; maybe it means staying up 30 minutes later to engross myself in great Christian fiction. Maybe that means spending the evening on a date with my husband or an impromptu after-school date with one of our children.
Life is a marathon, not a sprint and while I’ve said those words for years, it’s about time I put into practice ways to keep myself healthy for the long haul.
What about you – what do you do to take care of yourself? You’re priceless to your family and friends.
© Cheri Swalwell 2020