Help Yourself to Help Others

Being busy can be a great thing, but it can also be a dangerous habit. I have always been a person who has a million things going on at one time. I love being busy, but it felt like I got to the point where my identity/self-worth was correlated to how busy I was. I didn’t have time to step back, take a deep breath, and enjoy life.

I’ve slowly cleared my plate of extracurricular activities because I am trying to focus on myself more and outside things less.

It’s been bittersweet. I have been incredibly grateful to have the time to work on myself, but I also feel empty at times. Over the years, I have learned to correlate my self-worth with how busy I am. If I’m not filling all of my time with productive activities, I tend to feel like I am wasting my time. This is something that I am working on in my life.

So let’s fast-forward to yesterday. I have been sick for over a week and yesterday it got worse. I ended up seeing a provider in my office at the end of my shift and was sent home. My stubborn self went back into work today just to be sent home when I get there. I was honestly uninterested in going home. I told my manager that I didn’t want to go home because I didn’t know what I would do all day and she reminded me that rest is sometimes just as important as productivity.

If we are going to be the best versions of ourselves, we need to know when it’s time to relax and rest. Our body and mind need that valuable time to recuperate (especially when we are sick) so we can give our best self out to the world.

Have you ever been on an airplane? Even if you haven’t, I’m sure you know about their safety speech that is given before each flight. In the event of issues with air pressure when in flight, oxygen masks are released. They tell you to put your oxygen mask on before helping others because if you can’t breathe, you won’t be able to help others.

This is the same logic that they teach you for shooting situations at hospitals. They teach us that our firsts priority is to run out of the situation. If we are killed, we can’t help to treat the injured when the situation is diffused.

This is something that I have to work on. Sure, I was out of work for one day, but I wouldn’t have been incredibly productive today at work with how tired and short of breath I was feeling. Instead of ending up in the hospital and out of work for an extended period, I took one day to start recovery.

So take that sick day or mental health day if you need it. You can’t help others if you are not well yourself.

Oh, and being busy doesn’t equal being successful. Don’t stretch yourself too thin. You are strong, but you are also human and there are only so many hours in the day.

Love Always,

Elizabeth

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