Giving Till It Hurts

Jul 05, 2019
Jennifer Arthurton

This is the sheepish face of a woman who has not been taking her own medicine. I’ve been dealing with some life challenges lately that completely overwhelmed me. I fell into the trap of solving problems and doing the emotional labour of the people I love. Can you relate? In the process, I neglected myself to the point that I found myself tired, irritable and emotional with a very short fuse to either anger or tears. Not my best look. Creativity, inspiration and motivation, even for the things l love, like writing my book, totally dried up. And on top of that, I developed a painful back and neck spasm that lasted for weeks.

It took me a while to realize that these were all symptoms of emotional depletion. In giving to others, I had left nothing in the tank for myself. You’ve heard me talk before about how easy it is for us as women to lose ourselves in service of others and allow ourselves to fall to the bottom of the list. Guilty as charged! I have done a lot of personal work and studying on this topic, and still, I managed to find myself back in that place. Let it be known that I am no stranger here. I’ve lived in this place more times in my life than I would care to count.

Little by little, I let the things that nourish me mentally and emotionally slide. I stopped making time to do things that make me happy, I forgot how to say no, I crossed boundaries that I set up for myself, and I let my daily meditation and journaling practices fall by the wayside. I stopped checking in to see how I was feeling and what I needed. I didn’t make time to refill the cup I was giving from.

As midlife women, we are being called, more than ever before, to turn inwards, to focus on our own well-being, to tune into our desires and dreams and step into our power. The world needs women with knowledge, experience and wisdom to step forward and share our leadership and our gifts, but we cannot rise to the occasion if we are not making our physical and emotional well-being a priority.

I am committed to being the very best version of me for the next chapter of this wild and crazy life. How am I turning this ship around and getting back on track? I’m so glad you asked.

✔️ Recommitted to daily meditation and journaling as non-negotiable - NO MATTER what else is happening.
✔️Made time to do things I love- a good fiction book, nature walks, paddle boarding. Is there anything more healing than water?
✔️Doubled down on self-care. I booked 2 massages this week. Who does that?? Crazy right?
✔️ Reconnected with the vision for my kick-ass next chapter by writing down my goals and dreams and, most importantly, how I want to feel.
✔️ Re-established the boundaries that I set for myself and others (Read: wrote them out and taped them to my mirror) that help define how I want to show up in my life. Emotionally and mentally exhausted is not part of it!

When part of my regular routine, these are the things that create a sense of peace and happiness and allow me to stay connected with myself in order to show up as the best version of me for myself and others. You know the Oxygen mask theory, right?! You can’t give to others without taking care of yourself first.

Do you ever find yourself lost or disconnected? What do you do to stay connected to and take of you?


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