The act of giving in and of itself is a positive experience. It makes us feel good when we share our gifts, talents, time … with others. That said, often as High Achieving Women we give too much. What are some signs that you are giving too much?
Are you feeling SOOO tired? Do you volunteer on a number of boards and/or committees and have little or no time for yourself? Are you always giving to others yet almost never reach out or ask for support? Do you crave some time to relax, reflect and just be?
I remember a time in my life when I would leave home at 7:30 am and return at about 11:30 pm most week-nights. My schedule was always full with a number of volunteer activities in addition to my full-time job. I would “hit the ground running” every day.
What happens when we give too much over time?
- We have less patience with and tolerance of others
- We become more reactive and less responsive in our interactions (e.g. we react to what people say rather than taking the time to thoughtfully respond)
- We have low energy and feel tired on awakening
- We become resentful and may feel like a victim; e.g. “I’m always helping Sue but she’s never there for me?
- Over time we may “burn out” or suffer from an auto-immune disorder such as fibromyalgia
How can you start “receiving” and bring yourself more into balance? Here are some proven suggestions:
- Treat yourself to a massage or bubble bath
- Eat healthy foods
- Treat yourself to a yoga class and be truly present during it
- Reach out for support when you need it; e.g. “Honey do you mind driving the kids to school today? I have an important meeting and I’d like to get to work early to get ready for it.”
- Meditate for at least 10 minutes everyday
- Make a list of the volunteer activities you are involved in. Get clear on which one or ones are MOST important to you and why. Withdraw from the others to create more time and space for YOU
- Sit down and make a list of at least 5 things you could do to nurture yourself. Begin integrating these into your life and notice how you feel.
Are you giving too much? What impact is your giving having on your body, mind and relationships at home and at work? I invite you to share your thoughts below.
So true… this makes so much sense and I can relate to it. Thank you for the great reading advice.
Hi Mary, Thanks for the positive feedback. Happy you relate to the post.
Thanks for this kind reminder that overgiving doesn’t serve us or the people who we want to help. It’s been a long journey for me to be comfortable saying no and remembering to put myself and my family first. Being very clear about my values and my priorities has helped me to make this decision and only say yes to what’ s a true match for my time and my values.
Hi Minette, Thanks for your openness and for sharing your wisdom about the importance of being clear about our values and priorities. They indeed help us make decisions based on what is truly best for us.
Great post! It’s so hard sometimes to not keep score, especially when giving to others. I was bone tired when I left the corporate world to follow my own dreams and it took almost two years before I had my energy fully restored. It takes so long for our mind and body to recover from overuse and abuse. Thank you so much for the reminder to be gentle with ourselves and how to find ways to give much needed “nurture” time for ourselves.
Hi Sheila, Thanks for your thoughtful comments. Yes, it does take a long time for our minds and bodies to recover and it’s also hard to change old patterns. Yes as women we so need to reminded to nurture ourselves.
Wonderful suggestions, Pam! I remember the time in my life when I got very sick because the balance of giving and receiving was so out of whack. A reminder is always helpful.
Hi Laurie, Thanks for your thoughtful feedback. Yes, I’ve heard from so many women who’ve gotten sick because of giving too much. I think it’s an important message for women to hear.