Google Calendars: my own, everyone elses; Date nights; Events; Catch up with friends; Events with my family; Birthdays; Christmas… the list could go on, and on.
The above is just a snapshot of the things I have going on as months roll on. These are all great things – time together, time spent with families and memories being created. But with all this going on, it can be easy to burnout. Physically, but also emotionally.
It’s never been something I’d ever attributed a lot of attention to. But the constant sniffles and cold which never goes away, coupled with feeling so tired I didn’t want to get out of bed, or do the dishes on the few days I spent at my flat meant recently I had to look at things through a different perspective. I realised I was suffering from burnout.
This is something we have to be aware of when we want to share our time between multiple people – be they family or friends. I can’t speak for everyone, but I know when I neglect to look after myself, it impacts on the time I spend with others. My temper shortens, I get over-emotional (nobody wants a date night where I cry all night…) or I struggle with the upkeep of my flat – my own space to recharge the batteries.
How do I combat this? It’s not easy, and I’ve not fully cracked the code yet. For the moment, it’s a case of keeping my calendar looking simpler. Prioritising the things I really want to do vs the ‘would be nice’ things, and seeing where my energy lies on any given day. It’s important to me that I can be the best version of myself – for family and friends, but also for my own mental health.
How do I look after myself? “Me” dates. This might sound counter-productive as this is an additional “event” being scheduled, it gives me some good time just to watch the world go by. Sometimes it’s a wander through the city alone, other times it’s sitting with a bottle of wine and a good book – enjoying the sunshine (whenever we have any). The important thing is that it’s a few hours by myself not doing chores or dealing with mundane life – it’s a time to treat myself.
I’m not 100% there, I still manage to over-commit myself at times but this whole life thing is a big learning curve.
How do you take time out to look after yourself? What are your favourite ways to combat a busy schedule?