Spreading yourself too thin makes your life like a hot apple pie. Its all gone before you get yours.
The Apple Pie
So you are expecting a group of friends this afternoon. You want to WOW them so you decide to bake your fabulous apple pie that has become increasingly popular with your friends and family.
You begin your prep taking extra special care and adding a little something special. You go through a meticulous process to make sure nothing gets missed. Several hours later you have what’s sure to be one of your most delicious apple pie creations! You're so excited and you can’t wait to share it with the group.
The doorbell rings. Let the fun begin! You slice it into 8 slices and place it out for you and your guests to enjoy. You are busy being the great hostess you are and the guests are starting to rave about your apple pie. You return to get your slice and oh no! There is none left and you forgot to put a slice aside for yourself. You were really looking forward to enjoying some of that pie. You're a bit disappointed but hide it behind a happy face.
Now, flash forward to your life today. Ever feel that it’s just like that apple pie? You’ve worked hard; you have a good job and a wonderful family. Yet, you have become overworked and stressed with very little time downtime. And, you’re starting to feel it. It may be invading your productivity at work. It may also be affecting your intimacy because you just don’t have the energy and you are not in the mood to make love.
But like a good soldier, you march on because this is what you are supposed to do. Likely, not sharing your true feelings with your loved ones because you don’t want to be a complainer. Or even worse, appear weak and unable to handle things. You have worked hard to be "Super Mom" ensuring everyone else's needs were well cared for.
All the while, the pressure continues to build leaving you irritable and feeling less than your best.
Where's My Slice?
So let’s dissect where your life pie went:
Slice #1 – Your spouse or significant other (direct activities)
Slice #2 – Your children (direct activities)
Slice #3 – Your job
Slice #4 – Your parents
Slice #5 – Your siblings
Slice #6 – Your friends
Slice #7 – General family activities (bills, errands, cooking, cleaning, etc.)
Slice #8 – Sleep
So, where is your slice?
The problem lies in the basic structure you have developed over time. You have unintentionally constructed a great life with one problem. You left yourself out. You did not consciously slice the pie to set aside a piece for yourself.
There may be many reasons for this. The most likely is you have been so focused on everything else; you just didn't give much thought to your own needs. Now, your needs are forcing you to pay attention by manifesting unwanted symptoms in your life such as stress, fatigue, poor productivity or a lack luster love life.
The good news...you can turn this around!
Let's take a look at a few options.
It doesn’t seem realistic to eliminate any of the slices, right? After all, you can't exactly tell the family you will no longer be participating in the family activities.
And, you certainly cannot add hours to the day, as much as you would like to.
Instead, I challenge you to consciously re-slice the pie:
Make Slice #9 — My Time
To do this, you are going to take just a little time from each of the other slices and build it into your slice. I know this is easier said than done. But, consider what it would be worth to your mental and emotional health if you had your own slice of life pie! And, before you get started, lose the feeling that you are being selfish. Taking care of yourself is the best thing you can do for yourself and for those who depend on you to be at your best.
It’s amazing what we can actually do once we have made a decision and commit to it. And, you can do this too! You can find the time you need to hit the gym, read a book, visit the spa or just take a long, relaxing walk through the neighborhood.
If you need a little help getting started, visit my website and subscribe to download my free e-book: What’s Holding You Back? Getting to the root of the problem by asking yourself why. This e-book will guide you through a practical exercise to help get you started re-slicing your pie!
Let's move from the life you live... to the life you love!
All the best,