Running On Empty?

JanetPersonal Empowerment, ProductivityLeave a Comment

One day my to-do list was getting way out of control. There was more to do than I had time and I started to feel frantic. The reasonable thing to do is to run faster, so I was in the hurry-up mode. I noticed that I was hungry, but nothing in the refrigerator seemed appealing to me, so after I tossed a few nuts in my mouth, I kept on running.

Then I noticed I was getting tired, so I put myself into high gear, hurrying even faster so I could get things done before I ran out of energy.

Just then, someone called me and asked me to do them a favor. Of course, “good girls” always say yes. Yep, I was soon running on empty. That’s when my husband walked into the room and asked me if I could do him a favor.

My response was quick and sharp, “What?! Can’t you see that I’m busy?!”

Actually, no. Others do not see what is going on in our little world. We all have a list of things to do. Grocery shopping, dishes, tree trimming, work at the office, weeding, cleaning the house, the yard, the car, the kids.

Each of us is at the center of our universe, period. Guess what? You and everyone else in this world is the center of their universe, too. You may think that others know this, but it’s entirely human to be thinking about yourself before you think about others.

Because I had not taken the time to care for my basic needs, I didn’t have the presence of mind even to begin to think about where my husband was coming from or what he needed.

News flash! Other people cannot read your mind!

The bottom line is that you are responsible for you. If you don’t take care of yourself in a kind way, you are not going to have enough to share with others. You’ll get stuck in the rut of being a victim and blaming others for not being able to read your mind.

So, you have a choice. You can suffer and complain, or you can learn what it means to truly love yourself so that you can enjoy others even more.

Start with the basics

To survive, first, we need air. As soon as you notice you are running low on fuel, take a long, slow deep breath. Breathing deeply gets oxygen back into the brain so you can think more clearly. Then, move your body. Go for a walk. Turn on the music and dance. Do anything that gets that much-needed oxygen throughout the rest of your body.

Second, we need water. Not soda pop, water! So grab a nice, refreshing glass of water and allow your body to appreciate it. Again, the unpolluted water starts to wash out the fuzziness in our bodies, and we can think more clearly. If you have a habit of drinking sugar, then it may take a few weeks for your body to clean out the toxins you have built up. Be patient and drink at least half of your body weight in ounces every day.

Third, we need food. Not processed food, but real food. Be nice to your body. It works hard to serve you, so give it the best possible fuel so you will be able to live happy and healthy.

Fourth comes shelter, and fifth comes sleep. If you don’t have the first few items handled, then you’re not going to appreciate the comfort of your home enough to rest well.

Now spin it around

Bring in the joy, gratitude, and love! The BEST part is that when you give love, even to yourself, it comes back to you bigger and better than you ever expected.

Next time when I was in a rush, I stopped to eat lunch. I offered to do that favor for my friend another day. Even though I still felt in a hurry, I was able to speak in a kinder tone to my husband. “I would love to help you, but I’m not able to do that right now. I need to finish this first.”

I even asked my husband if he would help me out and he said, “Sure!” Wow! I got more in return than I ever expected. He washed the dishes and made dinner for the whole family. Love and gratitude replaced those feelings of anxiety.  The next day he sent me a reminder text, “Hey, did you remember to eat lunch?”

I’m still practicing, too, even as I take deep breaths and ask myself if this rushed mood is indeed necessary.

To serve and be served is golden.

When we truly learn what it means to serve and be served, then we are not selfish. We are determining what it means to feel and share a higher level of love. When we know how to love ourselves more fully, then receiving and loving others becomes so much more comfortable.

When you’re feeling out of sorts, pause and ask yourself this simple question:

“What do I need?”

Then look to yourself to be the one to fill your own need. Opening your mouth to ask for support is also a way to serve yourself. Then, from love, allow them to choose if and when they can support you. Download my list of ways you can ask for help, too.

Download: Asking for Help

Fill up your cup

The next time you’re feeling rushed and overwhelmed, remember:

First, fill your basic needs:

  1. Air, oxygen, breathe, move your body
  2. Water, clean and clear
  3. Food, nourishing and replenishing
  4. Shelter, take a look around you, make it work for you
  5. Sleep and rest, you deserve moments of peace

When you take care of these essential needs first, then you will have plenty of love to share.

And remember…

You are precious!

You are enough!

You are loved!

And, you are NOT alone!

Give yourself every chance to live happier, healthier, and buoyant by taking care of the most essential person in your life — you.

Your cup will genuinely overflow, and it will be easier to love others.


How do you take care of yourself so that you can feel and share the love with others?


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