Earlier today, one of our key volunteers who makes things beautiful called to say they couldn't come on Friday to put our gift baskets together for an upcoming event. My talents don't run toward putting together beautiful gift baskets and the two people that normally help were both indisposed. One is out of the state and the other just got out of the hospital. I nearly cried. In fact, if I’m completely honest the tears kind of pricked the back of my eyes as I struggled to breathe deeply and be present in the moment.
The old me would’ve said – “Ok, that will be fine” and I’d have gone on to figure out how to manage. But I’ve learned to be authentic and to talk about what is really going on.
Once I shared the situation, that I REALLY needed the other person’s help, everything changed. They didn't realize the depth of my need and went into super helper mode, talking about what color ribbons they would bring and saying they would definitely come to help. And even though the disaster was averted it took a few minutes for my fight or flight response to relax and go away. For several minutes afterward my chest was tight and I felt like I’d been hit in the solar plexus.
I used to just keep going. If something needed to be done for my family or others, I shouldered more responsibility put my head down and kept going. And it’s taken a while for me to allow others to help me. Seriously read that sentence again….Allow others to help me – only this time put your name in the sentence. Allow others to help _______.
I haven’t always been comfortable in saying, NO, or not right now. Because I’m successful with juggling a lot of different items, I’ve often been asked to take on more. And I’ve learned to say, “Let me check my calendar and get back to you.”
I’ve also learned to block hours or days to make sure I don’t over-schedule each week. As a special needs mom, for many years it was normal for me to have an average of four or five doctor’s appointments each week with my children. When possible, I tried to schedule ALL of the appointments on two or three days so I would have time for other items on my to do list and for self-care.
The recent experience impacted me strongly enough, that I knew it was likely a subject that would help others….so I’ll end with the question, when you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed, do you talk about how you’re feeling or share with those that are close to you or part of your support system?
I highly recommend that as you work through how you handle stress, you think about ways to unpack your thoughts so you’re able to take care of yourself and keep moving forward.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on how you take care of yourself and how you've been able to ask for help. Several Warrior Moms friends have shared that it’s extremely difficult to ask for help, as they’re used to being the helpers. So my challenge to you for the next week and month is this - Step outside your comfort zone and pick one thing to ask for help. People in general like to help and they like to be asked. So message for this month is don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
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