I was feeling extremely tired… like all of the time. It was a bad time for me because I didn’t know why I felt this way.
Growing up I was only taught one thing and that was always putting other people first. This worked for me for a while because it felt good always serving other people whilst making sure I was getting back the validation I so desperately wanted. But as time went on I realised that all that I was left with was my own depleted soul.
It took me a long time to realise that in order for me to be the best version of myself (and of course be in a good state to serve other people), I needed to put myself first. How do we put ourselves first without feeling guilty?
At any given moment you are doing one of two things… You are either drinking from the cup or you are pouring into the cup. Life is a balancing act and we have to make sure that we don’t do one or the other to its limits.
Allow yourself (the cup) to become empty and you will suffer greatly, physically and mentally. On the other hand, keep pouring into your own cup without emptying it at regular times then damage also happens whether it’s through laziness or depression, as you’re no longer fulfilled.
Pour Regularly Into Yourself
No matter what you do this should become a staple of your life. Filling yourself up means you need to fill yourself up emotionally and spiritually… And nothing does this as well as the daily practice of gratitude.
What does it take?
Spending a few minutes thinking about all of the ways you are blessed will make you feel alive. Our brains are weird things as in they will focus on whatever we spend energy on. This means a daily habit of spending some energy on actively thinking about all of your blessings does wonders.
Sometimes I take a walk in my local park which has an awesome lake and feel the cold air on my face while I stride through the trees. I feel gratitude for the ability to walk and be independent as many others are either bound by health problems or other worries.
When a number of pick-up artists back in the 00s were asked what was their secret to having a constant positive frame of mind despite countless rejections and blow-offs; they came back with one super mindset. Always seek to self amuse in all situations.
No matter what happens your goal is to make yourself laugh or at the very least feel amused.
Now, what happens when you do this? Firstly, the focus turns onto yourself and not other people so in advertently you stop seeking validation or trying to impress other people.
This itself works wonders because the moment a person feels that you are trying to impress or gain their approval, that is the moment they get a pretty icky feeling inside of them about you.
How do you self-amuse?
Say things that make you laugh… Talk about things that make you smile… Crack jokes that crack you up… You get the gist of it.
Think Adventure, then Escape
One of the best habits I have taken on in the last few years has been this; every day I wake up with the thought how can I make my life more adventurous?
This doesn’t have to be jumping out of a helicopter into the middle of the Amazon rainforest, just small steps can work wonders.
I recently thought maybe I should try some archery so went onto experience day websites and found an hour-taster session for a fairly good price. Sometimes, I purposely try to get lost so that I can discover new places.
These small things usually build up and become places that you’ve never had or experiences you’ve never had before.
One of the most insightful things I read some years back was from the worldwide best-seller book the 4-hour work week. Tim Ferris mentions in his book how the majority of people (mainly from the older generation) spend all their life working only to retire when they hit their 60s and sometimes even later.
These people often believe that they can work all of their life and put off all of their fun and adventure to the end of their life, only to sadly discover that they didn’t make it till that age or end up with so many health issues they don’t feel like doing anything anyways
Tim mentions that we should try to bring forward our retirement and spread it across our working life rather than compound it at the end because nobody really knows if we’re going to make it or not.
You don’t need to quit your job to do this. I often plan weekend getaways to nearby countries and schedule fun things to do when I’m abroad. A few years back I visited 10 countries doing just this (it helps when they’re just a few hours away).
I found that this year of my life was the richest and happy year I’ve had.
Research has found that people were happier buying experiences than buying material things.
Buying something material means you’re happy for a few days but then according to research you go back to your baseline level of happiness and start looking for your next hit of dopamine.
Experiences are such that no matter how many years go by, you still remember that one time when you bumped into the love of your life at the fair or the night you spent dancing with your friends. These things often, small things are the ones that stick with you for longer periods of time.
Can you think of one experience that has stuck with you and you reminisce about it often?
Do you feel yourself smiling at just the thought?
See what I mean?
It’s not a bad thing to spend time on yourself as the current culture may try to make you believe differently. Only when your cup is full is when you are able to serve other people and be there for your family and friends.
The above tips will not only help you feel better about yourself but also help in avoiding burnout so go ahead and try implementing these as soon as you can.