Sometimes there is a point in life where you reach burn out. This is when you have been going so hard for so long without any breaks or help, that you just get burned out and overwhelmed. IT could be from work, or home, or family, or any of the above. Burnout is when we take care of everything and everyone…except ourselves And most of the tie it is not intentional. Most of us would love to be able to take care of ourselves along with way, sometimes that is not possible though.
But when we don’t take care of ourselves, we become ragged and torn a bit at the soul. And sometimes we cannot see just how worn out we have become until we step away. It may be a slow realization, or it may be an ah-ha moment, but eventually light comes on.
For me it has been a gradual thing, as all the ways have come to the surface. Getting my lie caught up, so to speak, this past month has made it painfully clear just how much I let things go while taking care of others the past few years. And it is something that was very evident on vacation in Belize.
It has been 8 years since I went on vacation. The trip was long over due. But things were missing, because when you have not taken care of yourself for an extended time, you kind of forget how. So there was no real preparation for the trip, other than packing what bits and pieces of clothing that still fit.
Except that clothes didn’t fit. They were all huge – so big one of my friends said he just thought I lost a lot of weight because none of my clothes fit. What?!? For the last several years there was no time or energy to put into what I looked like, much less the time and effort it took to do anything about it. A piece of clothing being clean was about the only requirement.
My friends had to have an intervention. In Belize. Where I had to repeat that I do not need L and XL sizes (even though that is what was comfortable in the last years). I was only allowed to my S and M sizes…and when I tried o a bathing suit, I was told to hike it up where it did no cover my whole ass, because I was not a grandmother.
And at first I rolled my eyes while following their rigid instruction. Until something wonderful happened – the clothes fit. And I looked good in them. I felt good in them. And this may seem like a shallow thing to write about, but it is significant. because we must take care of ourselves if we have any hope of being happy in this world. That means wearing clothes that fit. You don’t have to spend a fortune to make sure you feel good in what you wear. Because we have the right to feel good about ourselves.
For me that also means making sure to have spare contact lenses and glasses. These are things I had not thought about or taken the time to do. There is also a dentist appointment to go with those new contacts…Yes, when you are burned out, even the most basic things can seem like too much.
You have the right to stop, breath, and do things that make you happy, make you feel, make you laugh, that move your soul and make you smile. Because those things, even if small, make all the difference. We all need to take care of ourselves, keep up with our health appointments and make sure we are tending to our souls.
And that is why it is important to take vacations, to take time out to breath. It isn’t to brag or post pictures on social media, it is so we are reminded that there is more to life than our current struggles. That there is more that the trauma from which we have come. To remind us of what resonates in our soul, once the stress of the day is removed. It reminds us of Life itsself, and all that having a well lived life has to offer.
Life is short. Take the vacation. buy the dress. Wear the lipstick, dance out loud, and don’t ever take these moments for granted, even the most mundane. And that is what I learned on this vacation. And that is what I must never forget again.