When I was studying to become a mental health counselor, we talked a lot about “self-care.” Indeed, when we’re busy with daily responsibilities and taking care of other people, it’s critical to remember to get our own needs met in order to have the strength to continue serving. This line of thinking caused me to feel sad for the many people who have overextended themselves in life, and now feel “stuck” and unable to draw back and practice self-care. Learning to say “No” to additional demands is critical.
Young people: Be careful about taking on too many responsibilities and becoming burned out, stressed out. Many of your elders have made this mistake and are now suffering the consequences. Take your time learning about yourself and being honest about your capacities. This is not a recommendation to become lazy or complacent, but rather an invitation to be authentic about who you are, and what you can handle.
May we all remember to care for our own continuum of body/mind/spirit, to nurture ourselves with time in nature and in silence, to recharge our own inner batteries – and THEN move out joyfully into our service of others and the world.