Last month, I realized that I was doing too much. Well, more like a year, I have gone beyond the boundaries I use to set for my health. And I was kind of denial in how much it was affecting me. I finally took the time to take care of myself over Christmas and New Years break. I’m surprised I lasted that long.
In 2023, I graduated from college, which was a huge accomplishment as there were many challenges to get there. But, I made the mistake of jumping right into working more instead of resting. I somehow convinced myself there would be less stress. And my health would improve.
I was wrong. As I started adjusting to more work, I continued my other extra circulars in my schedule, one being volunteering with organizations for those living with chronic illness. There is nothing wrong with serving those living with chronic illness or disability. I'm very passionate about serving others and especially those who battle chronic pain and are needing encouragement and others who relate. But, after a while when all of my work revolves around serving people, it becomes emotionally draining. This is turn affected how I interacted with others outside of work. I needed to set more boundaries, but it took me a while.
In January, I entered the year feeling worn down and more sick. And after dance one evening, I fell apart. I spoke to one of my mentors that I trusted. So we took some time and talked through how I was feeling and why I continued to push myself. I then realized I couldn't continue at the same pace. Something had to go.
I started prioritizing rest and taking Wednesday and Friday evenings away from distractions. I stepped down from Diamonds staff until after the conference. I let go of other plans to feel better. And I'm working on saying no more then yes. While I am not where I want to be with my health, there are some improvements.
Also, I have started using my quiet time to take naps or to write in my journal. I try to spend at least thirty minutes alone every day. I had missed writing besides the writing I use on my blog. And it's been very healing emotionally. Listening to music helps me to step away from distractions or the stresses from my schedule.
My encouragement is do not let yourself go past those boundaries. Having a full schedule was one of my coping mechanisms to distract myself from chronic pain, not the most healthy or effective. Doing too much that compromises your health is not the answer. Give yourself the grace to know when to let something go. God can still use you when you rest. Take time to recover. Set those boundaries. Others will understand.
Photo credit: Chloe Daniels