I talk to people all the time who are emotionally running on empty. Stress, burn out, and even depression are no respecter of persons. They try to attack us all from time to time.
The key to surviving is not avoidance. The key is emotional health. Emotional health is achieved by building intentional habits into your life. Or as Mother Teresa said, (see yesterday’s post) “In order to keep the lamp burning, you have to keep putting oil in it.”
If your emotional lamp is running low, maybe it is time for a refill? Focus on the following as a starting place:
Rest … Perhaps one of the best things you could do would be to sleep more? I am not talking about sleeping to medicate pain. I am simply talking about getting more rest. For some it might be a nap. For others going to bed earlier. If you are always frustrated and irritated with others, a lack of sleep might be the reason.
Retreat … One of my favorite things to do to recharge is to get away from my normal environment for a couple of days. Every time I make it a priority to take a retreat I come back more productive and more focused. Unfortunately, I don’t retreat as often as I should. It is something I am trying to change. Maybe you should do the same?
Relax … Every week I have one day off from my normal routine. It is, without question, my favorite day of the week. Not because I don’t enjoy my job. I do. But the truth is, without a day to unplug private, I would not last very long publicly. And I certainly would not be very effective. The truth is, we all have limits, even YOU. If you don’t have any downtime, you will soon be down ALL the time.
Recreate … Recreation is a great word. It literally means to create yourself over and over again. In other words, we all need to discover those things that replenish us. The things that bring life to our souls. It might be a hobby that causes your energy to soar. Or it might be a form of art like painting or music. Whatever it is that re-creates you, find it and invest some time and energy into it. You might think you don’t have the time. I say, make the time. You will be emotionally stronger if you do.
Laugh … I know it doesn’t start with an “R” but it is okay. If that bothers you, this one probably needs to be number one on your list. I can’t tell you how many people I know who take themselves too seriously. Lighten up! Studies show that those who laugh a lot live longer.
The road to emotional recovery might not be that far away. Rest, retreat, relax, recreate, and laugh. Be consistent with all of them and you might find yourself overflowing in a few days.
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