If you would’ve asked me 15 years ago what the secret is to success in life, I would’ve said something like hard work, determination, persistence, discipline, flexibility, optimism, and risk-taking. But now that I have lived a little longer and grown a bit wiser (I hope), I would now answer that question very differently.
It’s a no brainer that our occupation/job/career/profession greatly impacts our overall wellness. According to research done by Gallup, when we spend the majority of our time (and lives) in work that is stressful, unfulfilling or unenjoyable, the odds of us experiencing high wellbeing in other areas of our lives diminishes greatly. And what do workers report hating more than their jobs? If you guessed their boss, you are correct.
While doing a bit of research on the mind and negative thought patterns, I came across an inner critic quiz that helps you discover your inner critic patterns so you can create a plan for how to change them. Now I won’t list the 7 types of critics revealed in the quiz (you can discover them by taking the quiz via the link below), but I do want to start this post by defining ‘inner critic’.
“Self-care is an attitude towards our selves and our lives that says, I am responsible for myself.” ~ Melody Beattie
Constant fatigue. Exhaustion. Migraines. Stomaches. Brain fog. Irritability. Impatience. Lack of focus. Disengagement. Discouragement. Distress.Unmotivated. Frustrated. Cynical. Sleep deprived. Stressed. Unhappy. Uptight. These are the symptoms of burnout I experienced during the most stressful season of my life–5 years ago.
Everywhere you turn, someone is talking about self-care. It’s a super trendy hot topic these days. But what exactly is self-care? Why is self-care important? And how do you actually manage it and prioritize it? Over the next 4 (or maybe 6 posts), I’ll not only be sharing my perspective on this topic, but I’ll also be sharing what research and mental health experts are saying about how self-care protects and strengthens our overall health and well-being.
11 years ago on May 1st, I lost my mother to ovarian cancer. She had battled the disease for 3 years and died a few weeks after her 49th birthday. I remember my mother saying during her last few weeks of life that she had to get better because she still had a purpose to fulfill on this earth. When I heard these words, I remember saying in my heart:
“I don’t want to arrive at the end of my life believing I have yet to fulfill my God-given purpose. I want to be able to say with confidence that I have fulfilled it.”
I’m flawed. You’re flawed. We’re all flawed. Therefore, none of us are perfect. Yet ‘perfect‘ is the image so many of us strive for. As if perfection is something we can actually achieve. Rather than view our flaws or imperfections as gifts or opportunities for God to show himself strong in our flaws, we see them as deficiencies, inadequacies, and disabilities.
I can still remember how I felt a few years ago when I was told how my personality got on a certain individual’s nerves. Let’s just say I didn’t feel all warm and fuzzy inside. On the contrary, that statement really hurt me.