This year. This month. This season.
As I have turned through pages and notes from journals, I noticed that beneath all of the joy was a heaviness of emotional struggles and physical pain. I didn't realize the extent of these struggles until I went to a counseling session earlier this month.
I knew it was time as months went by since my last session. There were a lot of changes I encountered in such a short amount of time. I graduated from college in the spring. I started working more. All of a sudden, many of my friends moved on by working their dream jobs, getting engaged or married, or starting a master's program. I felt stuck and left behind. In some ways even forgotten.
As I approached my last counseling session for the year, there was a lot to unpack. Something my counselor shared with me is how worried she felt about my schedule. She knew I felt called to serve and care for others. But, I needed to set some boundaries. Otherwise, my physical and emotional health would grow worse. I knew she was right. Going through changes like graduating, working more, and then losing a loved one was too much. I also had a similar conversation with a close friend last week.
This year, I continued to help with Diamonds, mentored and led a small group, graduated from college, helped at Camp Footprint, taught dance and other passions, and the list could go on. None of these opportunities are wrong. Most of the time, I gladly accepted without even thinking how my body would feel after. That's the mistake I made more than once.
I know a change is needed. Sometimes, caring for others means we forget that we need care. I have been thinking through this after my counseling session and conversation with a friend. In 2024, I want to prioritize rest, letting some things go, and remembering the Lord can use me even more when I take a slower pace.
My hope and prayer for those similar to me is that you also take time to rest. It's okay to say no. Then it's even more of a blessing to those you are serving when you say yes.
What are you hoping to change in 2024? And how are you prioritizing self-care and rest?