And doggone it, people like me.

We tell ourselves lies all the time.

We tell ourselves life is hard (ok, agreed, it is), we tell ourselves we need more sleep (we probably do), and we tell ourselves we can’t have what we want because we’re overloaded in obligations to others.

We tell ourselves we want a break but that makes us selfish. We tell ourselves we NEED a break but we can’t intrude on other people’s lives and ask for help. We tell ourselves we have to do ALL the things to stay on top of life and it’s our job to keep everyone happy. We need to be there for the kids, for the spouse, for friends, for work meetings, for doctor appointments, for all of it.

We believe we can’t focus on ourselves, there is no time to be healthier, we do not deserve to treat ourselves well. Our needs are less important than those around us. We will get by and suffer in silence and pretend to be grateful because that’s what we have to do.

These beliefs and thoughts turn to bitterness and resentment. We blame ourselves for our own burnout. We blame those around us for forcing us to live this way. We blame our guilt and we blame our food and we blame our stress and not-enough-hours-in-the-day.  We put so much energy into blame, fueling the discontent in our lives until it consumes us.

But what if it is all lies? These negative thoughts pervade and attack our mental well-being. We need to stop accepting these negative thoughts as truth and start questioning the validity of them. The reality is, we cannot always believe our own thoughts. When we listen to the negative voice about the situation or our daily life, we lose the ability to control our attitude and choose our feelings.

What if we re-framed how we look at life and told ourselves instead that we work hard and deserve a break. That other people love you and will be glad to help, or at least willing to help. That there is joy and happiness and good to be found throughout the day. That we are doing our best and we will be loved even if we cannot serve everyone to their full satisfaction. That your well-being is worth fighting for.

Find the time to breathe. Find the time to exercise, prepare a healthy meal, pray, read, sew, whatever brings you calm. Remind yourself of all the good you are doing, and forgive yourself of your shortcomings. Believe your own health and well being is just as important as your loved ones. We need to put our needs on the list and not feel guilty about it. Acknowledge you are good enough, smart enough, and dog gone it, people like you.

2 Comments

  1. Good article and so true! Good reminder to be aware of what we are telling ourselves. Our negative thoughts can really drain our energy and as caregivers it is so important to take care of ourselves. I love the reference to SNL!! 🙂

    Like

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