It’s funny how your body instinctually knows when it needs to slow down a bit. At the start of this week I was freaking out about how much I had to get done. On Monday alone, I overcommitted and had to be in 3 places at once (yes, you read that correctly). And at the height of my freak-out, I felt the sniffles come on. And then the sore throat. And then that foggy-head feeling. Suddenly instead of stressing about how I was going to put out a script, attend a prep meeting, pick-up my son, then drive across town for a meeting, I was focused on how soon I could get home and get into bed, and all the other stuff just… fell away.
Sometimes when we’re overworked, as I am right now (not that I can complain because I knew what I was getting myself into and I do thrive the more loaded my plate is), we have to learn to prioritize. That can be difficult when there’s several things that seem like they’re the priority, but that’s where some tough choices have to come into play. One thing being a mother has taught me is my son comes first. Always. But by extension, that means my own well-being has to be a close second. Prior to Jack’s birth, I never put my need’s above others. I’m too much of a people-pleaser to say “no” or disappoint people, but when it’s reframed as, “If I’m not in top-form (emotionally, mentally, physically), then my baby suffers” it makes it much easier to put my needs above others.
I’ve also found that if you’re upfront with people about your limits, they actually understand. I used to be so fearful about telling bosses I couldn’t do something immediately for them, or turning down plans with friends, but what I was actually doing was projecting my anxiety onto them. That’s not fair to anybody!
I wish I could do it all, but I can’t. I guess that’s what being an adult is all about: coming to terms with our limitations. And thankfully, I have a body that tells me when it’s time to slow down and focus on myself.