“If you are feeling some December blues, or even depression, don’t fight it. Instead, do something for yourself. Be reflective. Let the emotions exist. And be encouraged that, like me, you can get to a better place, but it can take time.” -Brad Feld
I once heard it said that everyone has a finite amount of love they can spend each day. Of course, we’re not talking about romantic love, but the love that is the underlying the care we project onto the people and events surrounding us. We all have a limited capacity of what we can pour of ourselves into anything. Careers, families, hobbies, and simply being an adult make withdrawals from our daily love allotment. If you think that’s not the case, remember the last time you thought, “If my phone rings one more time today, I’ll scream.” When you’ve hit the point of elevated frustration, you’ve spent all the love you can. Outward signs of anger, eye-rolls, heavy sighs, and poor decisions are then sure to follow.
There is a slight fallacy in the “finite amount of love to spend each day” theorem. The maxim is true if we don’t consider that our output of love can revitalized in a day by taking time for ourselves. You are your most important resource. On first brush, that statement might sound egotistical and self-centered, but it’s founded on the thought that if you don’t take care of yourself, you cannot take care of anyone else. This is the same rationale behind airline emergency briefings advising you to, in the event of depressurization, put your own mask on before helping others. It’s why paramedics are almost brainwashed to ensure the “scene is safe” before they go charging in to save everyone.
When driven to distraction, take fifteen minutes to do something that is all about you. Turn off your cell phone and then take a walk; knock off two hours early and go fishing, hit golf balls, or whatever it is that makes you feel like you again. Try that once and see how you feel when you come back. You’ll likely have a different perspective on your day.
Help Yourself to Some “Me” Time Accelerators
- What evidence do you leave behind that suggests you are just about at your wit’s end?
- What activities make you recharged?
- How can you build those activities into your regular weekly routine?
- What triggers can you place around you to remind you of this need?