Emotional Whiplash

Something to ponder. How do you engage in your world of balancing family and work without losing your own identity? It’s so easy to get lost in supporting others, but no one gains anything without remaining in, or at least coming back to, your center regularly.

Photo: Adege via Pixabay

Honor thyself. It took me a while to understand that in my business and personal life and absolutely during caregiving days.

As I was going through some old books the other day, I found one given to my mom. Yours If You Ask, by Susan Polis Schutz. Susan was an acclaimed poet, and in this book, “Susan reveals how she maintains a close, loving relationship with her family without losing her own identity….”

Taking the time to love and honor ourselves is essential in this short life we have. We put so much pressure on ourselves to get things done and be sure everyone is cared for, but how many times are you depleted at the end of your day?

So, let’s get honest about something right now. If you continue to be on the go, how effective is your decision-making? How much will you beat yourself up for making the wrong decision? How often will you tell yourself, “I should have…?”

The holidays are upon us, which adds yet another layer of responsibilities. Whether it’s baking cookies or coordinating a gift for your mom from the family, this time of year has its own pressure. Or perhaps it’s navigating the grief of a loved one no longer with you. All of this can have an additional impact this time of year. Speaking to a friend about this recently, we referred to this as “emotional whiplash.” You might feel emotions and deep-seated feelings that others won’t understand, side by side with the demands of what needs to be done.

Here are a few ideas that I’ve used to help:

  • First, I make a list of everything that needs to be done. Caution – seeing it all on paper can pop your eyes wide open!
  • Secondly, I sort that list into ‘must do right now’ (shopping list, car service) and ‘this can wait’ (sorting through my closets). It still needs to be done, but not this nano-second.
  • Thirdly, I add something on those lists that fills my heart – walking with a friend, creating an art project, or starting to think about a getaway later next year.

Recognize that though you may have a lot to do, how planning can open up time and, most importantly, give you the much-needed breathing space to fill yourself too.



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