Help!!! It’s a crisis!
When life gets hard and you are in a crisis situation that requires your full attention, you automatically go into “fight or flight” mode so you can deal with the circumstances. Whether you realize it or not, you are immediately under stress.
Let’s say your best friend or a family member is in crisis. Not only do you wear your “superhero” mask, but you also wear the “rescuer” hat over it. You are fully ready to try and fix the situation for them.
You start taking care of the other person, neglecting your own needs, because after all – they are in crisis and you’re fine!
At first, you might feel good, even energized, helping somebody else. You find the strength and determination to be in service for others. Your positive attitude towards helping another combined with the high level of adrenaline that is being released into your body keeps you going.
You are cruising along with this adrenaline “high,” rationalizing your lack of self-care by allowing your inner monologue to say: “I’m fine. I’ll take care of ME later”. It takes a few days, weeks, or even months until you notice that it’s costing you your energy. Your mind might think that you are fine, but your body starts sending you “it’s too much for me” messages. You choose to listen to them, but put them on hold, on the back burner, until the crisis passes.
It might even be that it is not your friend or family member who is in crisis but YOU who are the one in crisis! Your reaction might still be the same: fight & flight response, getting into a “crisis mode”, taking care of the situation, forgetting about taking care of yourself.
The lies you hear in your head
Your inner false voice (or your “Crisis Guard”) tells you one of the following messages:
- Take care of the crisis now. The rest can wait.
- Don’t worry; you’ll take care of yourself later. You’ll be fine. Taking care of them is more important.
- You’ll take care of yourself when the crisis is over.
You allow the false voice to be louder than your true voice, you listen to the lie, and you take care of yourself less than usual, or not at all. The “it’s too much for me” messages start to increase and get louder, and then it happens:
Most of time you will rise up to the occasion and deal well with the crisis, but you’ll pay the price later when you crash. And without adequate self-care, you WILL crash.
There are different types of crash:
“After the test I crash” – This is where you are able to stay focused on your mission, dealing with the crisis, and you crash the day after.
“I only need a minute” crash – While the crisis is still happening you have your moments, hours or days where you feel completely drained and not able to cope, but it is temporary and you change gears quickly back to crisis mode.
“I don’t crash but….” – This is when you keep up with the challenge, but you start getting signals that it’s too much for your body. Your mind tells you that you’re fine, but your body says you’re not. You might suffer from lack of sleep, irritability, inability to focus or possibly get sick.
Just like a car cannot run without fuel, your body cannot keep running on “empty”, especially in the face of a crisis. You lose energy to the situation, and your body needs more energy than usual to cope and overcome the challenge. The key words here are “your body needs more energy than usual.”
The Big Mistake
When you put self-care lower on your priority list than dealing with the crisis, you run into “energetic overdraft.” Your body doesn’t have the energy it needs to deal and heal. And you might pay a physical or an emotional price, or both.
Making the crisis more important than self-care stops you from being in your power and causes you to pay fees (just like with your bank account) for your energetic overdraft.
First of all, don’t wait for a crisis to practice self-care. Start when things are normal. Create a morning routine and an evening routine and practice self-care every day. Try different practices and choose your favorite ones. Change your practice from time to time to make it more interesting.
And most importantly:
Come up with your “Non-negotiables self-care list” and stick to it, no matter what.
My current morning practice includes self-Reiki, meditation, writing, and praying. My evening practice includes gratitude, inspirational reading, self- Reiki, and planning my food for the next day.
I keep my practices every day, but of course, there are exceptions. After all, I’m human! When my schedule changes, when I travel and of course when in the face of a crisis, I stick to my non-negotiables:
Eating what’s on my food plan, drinking water, moving my body, staying connected to God, and giving myself Reiki.
Over the years, I’ve developed habits that made those practices feel like second nature to me, and I’ve learned how to stick to these practices regardless of what is going on in my life.
Start simple, start small, start now.
Don’t wait for a crisis.
Create a morning and an evening self-care practice and come up with your own non-negotiables.
Taking care of YOU first will allow you to then take care of others and deal with difficult times.
I would love to hear from you. What would you like to include in your non-negotiables list?