There’s a different tired feeling that goes deeper than physical exhaustion that oftentimes we ignore. We can’t quite put our fingers on it, but we know beyond our family responsibilities of our day to day tasks that something has us feeling a bit drained in being off our game. I have a better understanding of the power of energy of what I’m taken in by others, my environment, and what I entertain with my thoughts in the later years within my motherhood journey knowing what’s emotionally draining for my spirit. I’ve learned through some rough patches in experiences that life is a balance of life giving and life draining situations that as a mother it’s essential to recognize in being able to be at your best to give of your best.
Life Givers & Life Drainers
I can recall a phrase said by one of my instructors for my Counseling class. He said,”Life is filled with life givers and life drainers.” He was sure to share with us “future counselors” the importance of self-care within such an emotionally tested profession. I don’t believe that you have to be a counselor to know that in life that there are just some things that suck the life right out of you. I am an empath and an ambivert so being in tune with the energy of what’s around me and who’s around me is unpleasantly ever present. It’s a must to be in tune with what’s around us that gives us life as a refresher, a needed boost, inspiration, and restores our weary spirits as mothers. It is also a must to be in tune with what snatches our joy, pulls us down emotionally, is distracting, and leaves us feeling almost breathless following interaction. Life givers and life drainers can be in our homes as well as outside of our homes. Motherhood can have it’s personal share of life draining moments , so it’s important in applying self-care to minimize as many life draining scenarios as we can. Recognize what your life drainers and life givers are in being fully effective in being at your best self.
I made the following decisions to better conserve my energy in being able to be at my best in being there for my family, in being more effective in my work efforts, in protecting my peace of sanity, and to not be distracted within my purpose of God’s plan for my life:
- Be in tune with my body’s need for rest obeying it to the fullest. I take a “cat nap” when needed. I will take a day to rest with no intentions of working beyond writing down a blog idea, going for a peaceful nature walk, or I lovingly share in treasured moments with my family.
- Stop overextending myself beyond the limits of my availability, resources, and interest. This was hard for a “former people pleaser” to do but I can attest that it’s possible. I don’t have to be an every role, attend every event, spearhead every committee, have my children involved in every activity available, and I have right to say”No” without guilt.
- Know the importance that protecting my peace and inner circle goes hand in hand. I’m unapologetic in releasing toxic connections meaning dream killers, narcissistic bullies, manipulative users, combative personalities, demanding needy people, drama (kings/ queens), and “Debbie Downers” in maintaining a healthy circle. I get a needed refill in sharing happy moments with positive people with similar interests.
- Look at self -care as self – preservation I take the time to have a pamper day in painting my nails( I use to do this every few months, but now I do so once a week), taking a long bath with bubbles, and giving myself a home facial.
- Don’t balance more relationships than you can emotionally or physically invest in. It’s not about being rude, dismissive, or taking others for granted. I respect life’s course in knowing that everything has a season including relationships. My mom would say in her thick southern accent that, “Everyone is not your friend” in teaching me the value of relationships. I know not to let a friendship extend pass it’s lifeline in forcing it to work, I don’t chase after who walked away from me. I respect others in not balancing more personalities than what I can honestly handle in close connection in what they need in being fair to all parties involved.
- Tap into my creative genius. I enjoy creative writing expression, challenging myself with learning a new skill, and dappling in the arts in any form. I write down ideas for home improvement projects taking the time to complete them. It really is fulfilling. I would have never thought that I could master the task of flooring , but I actually redid our floors in all of our bedrooms!
- Monitor my social media interactions. I take a social media fast every few months. I update my friends list every few months keeping a limit personally on my Facebook page. Yeah, I’m not trying to be in the 5,000 friends’ club . I also make a point to unfollow or unfriend those who constantly post negative, judgemental, pointed, politically charged, depressing, and thirsty bragging post. I take in consideration the relationship if it’s personal of knowing my level of comfort with someone or where we stand.I am watchful of connections via my Instagram with selecting or maintaining followers. Social media can be very influencing, daughting,draining if we’re not careful. I choose to follow who’s inspiring, humorous, and insightful.
- Pour into my inner well with good vibes. Motherhood has a lot to do with giving which doesn’t account for the others in which we give of ourselves such as extended family, friends, and co-workers. I make sure to refill my tank from so much pouring out to pour back into myself with an inspirational book, message, or video to reflect on. I make an effort to attend worship, and share my life with others who can pour an encouraging word with support for me.
- Give of yourself in serving others. There is nothing more fulfilling than giving of yourself within your available time, talents, and efforts for a good cause.
- Choose to enjoy life. It’s the little things that make you feel good. I enjoy taking the time to spruce myself up from my usual get up, I love a good hardy laugh, and I take in all the escapes that only good music can do in floating you on a journey. I love a good “alone” date night where I can enjoy in a special moment, but still share in the beauty of silence. It’s much easier to bounce back when negative thoughts or experiences occur in embracing joy.
Do your best to surround yourself with relationships and settings that are life giving that pour back into you filling your spirit . Recognize the life drainers in your life ( Be honest in working on any life draining qualities you may yourself.) limiting or avoiding them at all cost protecting yourself from physical and emotional exhaustion.