I left you hanging in my last blog post, which told the story of what happens when an introvert (me) stops practicing self-care. To summarize: I buried myself in my work, and while I was going through the motions of self-care activities, I wasn’t truly caring for my mind, body and soul. The outcome: I found myself headed down a scary path towards burnout.
Thankfully, I realized where I was headed before I actually got there, and I took action to correct course. Turning around at that point was no easy feat, but I knew that if I didn’t, all areas of my life would suffer even more than they already had.
I took a holistic approach to self-care, and I took it seriously. Here are the things I did to get back to a healthy place mentally, physically, and emotionally.
To tell this story, I need to take you back in time to last summer. I had just taken a HUGE step in my self-care journey by deciding to no longer teach lessons, so it seemed like I was on the right track. Add to that the mornings I dedicated to biking (my preferred choice of exercise) plus the personal development podcasts I listened to regularly, and I felt like a master of self-care.
I also felt like there was no better time to tackle one of my big goals: creating a course about how introverts can thrive in an extroverted career like music therapy. I sat down and created an editorial calendar — one that I thought was extremely reasonable and also allowed time for other pursuits.
As I dove into course creation mode, I realized just how big of an undertaking it really was. Since I was so passionate about the subject matter, I wanted to put 100% into every aspect of the course. Creating the outlines and writing the chapters were the most stressful tasks, though I loved every minute.
What I didn’t realize was the extent to which creating this course was taking priority over everything else in my life. I’ve let this happen in the past, so you’d think I would have noticed the signs…but I didn’t. I was going through the motions of riding my bike, taking care of my children, and attending to other work responsibilities, but my heart wasn’t in it. I wasn’t letting all of those things do what they should have done for me, which was to nourish my body and soul.