When your alarm goes off, you groan. Your body feels like it could use another twelve hours of sleep! And when the day ahead goes through your mind, you have no idea how you’ll get all that done with the tiniest bit of energy you feel right now. But you’re a responsible person, so you grab yourself together and get dressed. It’s a busy day at work. After work you have to buy some groceries and drive your child to an appointment. Then your dad calls. He needs your help and of course you promise to drop by to help him, although you hoped to be able to do some administration tonight and then go to bed early.

You feel you’re running on the last part of spare energy, and you want to get this done as quickly as possible. When you drive back home, you feel emotions coming up and fight to not start to cry. You want to be there for everyone, but you don’t have the energy right now. It feels like a huge effort, where a few months ago, it was not a problem at all. You know that the recent hurtful experience has had a big impact on you, but you seem to not cope with the all the people demanding your time anymore.

After losing my husband, I noticed that ‘giving’ to others was too much for me. After another night of insomnia my work and caring for my child was all I could handle. And sometimes that even felt like too much. So I understand how you’re feeling when you’re running on spare energy. The big message here is to change your focus from being a ‘giver’ to give to yourself.

Giving to yourself means that you put yourself on the highest priority of your list. You’ll have to increase your energy first to a level that you’re able to function normally in daily life again. You can’t give time and energy to others if you don’t have enough energy yourself. The focus needs to go to you. How can you create a good night’s sleep? From what do you get energy? What makes you feel good? What brings you joy?

Sometimes you need to make bigger decisions like taking a time out for yourself, so taking days off work or saying no to people who ask your help, until you feel energised again. If the guilt pops up, give yourself permission to energise yourself first, so you can heal and then be there for others again. Know that people who love you want to see you happy and healthy. If you don’t take the time to heal yourself, your body will make you take that time and the recovery time will be way longer. It’s better to prevent this to happen and work on healing yourself now.

I have some affirmations to help you in the process to choose for yourself first:

  • I allow myself to know what changes in my life would be healthy right now
  • I understand my motivations for the actions in my life
  • I allow myself to make healthy changes
  • I am motivated to put my priorities into action
  • I am motivated to take time for myself
  • I say yes to my needs getting met
  • I say yes to invest in time for myself
  • I honour and respect myself
  • It feels good to take excellent care of myself
  • My health and wellbeing are the highest priority
  • Those who love me accept me as I am
  • I have compassion upon myself
  • I am exactly where I need to be right now
  • I am doing what I need to do right now
  • I keep my promises to myself
  • I am my own best friend
  • I have a healthy relationship with myself
  • When I win, everybody wins
  • When I’m happy, it inspires others’ happiness