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Is Your Battery Dead?

by Debra Cutler 12 months ago in Bad habits
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Stop putting yourself last...

Is Your Battery Dead?
Photo by Limor Zellermayer on Unsplash

Last week was particularly difficult. There was family drama. There was work turmoil. Angst. Anxiety. You name it...

By the time Friday rolled around, I felt particularly drained - more so than usual. I'm not unfamiliar with the stress of a fast-paced environment, but everything felt particularly heavy; a lot heavier than usual.

I went to bed on Friday night full of angst and even a little depressed. The weight of the week was heavy on my shoulders. I wanted to try to "sleep it off," but I honestly wasn't sure if that would make me feel better.

I didn't sleep particularly well, and the early morning sun lit the room well before 6:30am. Out of bed by 7, I found myself enjoying a few minutes of quiet in the living room. I subconsciously reached for the nearest book and found myself submersed in a chapter.

And that's when it hit me...

One of the keys to success is having and regularly implementing small daily habits. Of course there are personal habits and business habits, and each has its place in the grand scheme of things. Somewhere in the past few weeks I had slowly and unconsciously abandoned one of the most influential personal habits in my life - doing a small amount of personal development reading each morning.

Most days I read in the morning. The habit sets my day up on a positive note, gives me something to think about (and sometimes apply), and generally leaves me feeling charged. On the best days, I also fit in another chapter before bed. Doing so helps me to wash away the funk, reset, and ends my day on a higher note.

In not reading daily, I had been neglecting myself.

Neglecting. Myself.

I had gravitated towards the anxiety and fear that comes with being "busy." I did not think I deserved or had time for my personal daily habit. I thought I needed to hit the ground running by diving directly into my work.

The end result wasn't increased productivity. Instead I felt intense pressure, overwhelm, and fatigue. Those sensations crept up on me slowly, over time - over the week or two I had ditched my small daily habit - until I felt completely and utterly ungrounded. I had no root. My anxiety levels were at an all-time high. I was utterly exhausted and unfocused. I felt awful.

Correcting that small habit took no time at all. Fifteen or twenty minutes a day is nothing. There is no email or Skype thread that can't wait for me to read a chapter in the morning. I even spent some of that early morning time outside, in the sunshine and fresh air - and left the phone in the house.

By putting everything (and everyone) else first, I was neglecting myself. I let my personal battery run itself dry. I forgot myself.

Let me repeat that last part: I forgot myself.

All of this is to serve as a reminder. There is nothing at all wrong with putting yourself first. Doing so gives you the energy and focus you need to be your best for those around you, on whatever level you need.

Take a step back. Take a breath. Focus. Figure out what daily habit you've let slip. There are a lot of conversations happening right now about self-care and what it really means. For the purposes of this exercise, it’s whatever you need it to be - whatever makes you feel balanced and focused.

You may be surprised at how tiny and insignificant YOUR habit seems in the grand scheme of things, but how much difference that habit makes to your mental health or mood. Take it back and make it yours.

You've got this.

Bad habits

About the author

Debra Cutler

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