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Are you running on empty?


By Victoria Kasunic

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Self-care is the foundation on which happiness rests

I have been really tired lately which is always a sign to me that I’m not managing my own self-care and energy.

Do you get sometimes get so enthusiastic about things that you tend to operate on turbo speed, and at times neglect taking little moments out for self-care?

Same here. I feel fine for quite a while, until all of a sudden a tsunami of tiredness descends and I want to sleep in every morning. Then, I find I am more irritable, more teary, more frustrated, and its like pushing the proverbial uphill to get through the day.

Once I begin to structure self-care into each day again, mlife fairly quickly begins to look more like “rainbows, bunny rabbits and sunshine”  again.

Self-care is the foundation on which happiness rests and tempting as it is to put yourself last on your to-do list, it’s not an effective way to live your life.

In fact lack of self care leads to depression, anxiety, exhaustion and a myriad of health problems. Looking after yourself physically, mentally and spiritually, is essential for happiness.

Going through life can be tiring – it takes a lot of energy to live at the pace and stress level that we do today. Modern humans have to deal with financial stress, job stress, driving stress, relationship stress, mortgage stress, Facebook stress – the list is endless. Our systems were not designed to deal with constant stress – the worst thing our cavemen ancestors had was running away from an occasional tiger!

I liken this concept of having enough energy to having petrol in your car’s fuel tank – don’t wait until you are on empty, the red light is on and it just conks out. In fact, we humans function best when our tanks are full.

So how do you know if you are running on empty?

Thinking about the last 24 hours, look down at this list and notice how many of these featured in that day?

  • Drank too much alcohol/took drugs
  • Didn’t eat well or regularly during the day
  • Poor sleep
  • Worried
  •  No  exercise
  • Too much caffeine or sugar
  • Boredom
  •  Said yes but meant no
  •  Procrastinated
  • Tension or conflict with others
  • Over-worked
  • Mess and clutter at home or work

If you had more than a few of these, then you are in danger of burning out. Here’s a list of things that you want to use to fill your tank each day – yes each day!

  • Physical activity
  • Good sleep
  • Regular nutritious meals
  • Stay hydrated – drink plenty of water
  • Adequate rest
  • Relaxation strategies – meditation, mindfulness
  • Spend time with people you love
  • Be assertive
  • Did things you love.

If you consistently do more of the second list, rather than the first list, you will balance your energy and this will be a solid foundation for everything else in your life.

Your life begins with you after all. If you aren’t okay then this ripples out to your work, your family, your friends and everything else that matters to you.

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Victoria Kasunic - to view all of Victoria's blog post click here

Victoria Kasunic is a psychologist and happiness expert, who regularly consults to print media and television. Victoria's mission is to impact you to be "Be Who You Are, No Matter What" and she draws on over 11 years of client experience to do so. She helps you take your life from blah blah to ooh la la, from black and white to full colour, from ho-hum to spectacular.