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.