What Depletes You?

One of my New Year’s resolutions is to not start every blogpost with “hey guys.”

Just kidding. I try to keep my resolutions realistic. Like quit sugar and stop hitting the snooze button for an hour and a half every day. That kind of thing. I’m rolling my eyes too.

Anyway, let’s real talk for a minute. What depletes you?

Free self care? Sign me up.

I am learning that the most valuable thing you can do to practice (probably) free self-care is to identify this. Because if you can identify what depletes you, you can start putting some solutions into your quiver right now, ready to yank out and fire away when stress tries to throw a roadblock at you. 

You know what depletes me?
Coming home to a messy, disorganized house at the end of a stressful workday.
Not getting enough alone time to recharge.
A long phone heavy day at work.

I know these things, obviously, because I tend to have a toddler level meltdown when they happen, but even though I can foresee them, I honestly wasn’t really doing anything to prevent them. I wasn’t giving myself an escape plan. You guys, this is life changing. You can create an out and this is the purest form of self-care. It isn’t a thinly veiled marketing scheme to get you to buy something or eat something that will just make you feel guilty later. Just straight up takin’ care of you.

Depleter: I hate coming home to a messy house. I usually clean my house on the weekend, but by Wednesday, there’s enough dog hair and dirt accumulation that I am this close to losing my mind. Solution: plan ahead on Wednesday morning. Toss dinner in a crockpot. Get home to a delish smell coming from your kitchen and spend the time that is normally spent cooking doing some quick sweeping and wiping down the counters. By 6pm, you’ve got dinner and a picked-up house. 

Depleter: I need alone time, but I also need to spend time with my family, and make dinner and work 40 hours, and go grocery shopping. Just like everyone else. The list goes on forever and it’s so easy to prioritize myself last.
Solution: I know that I’m an early riser in a house of sleepyheads, so if I set my alarm an hour earlier than they wake up, it’s literally carving out time to just be by myself.

What's your escape plan?

So I’m asking you again: what depletes you? But I’m also asking you this: how can you map out your escape plan? If we’re forward thinking enough to draw a way out of a burning building just in case of a fire, doesn’t it make sense to figure out a way to save yourself from stress that is practically guaranteed?

Identify what sparks your anxiety and then what delivers you from it. And remember that it can be super simple. Like maybe a quick game of computer solitaire takes you down a notch, or locking yourself in a bathroom and scrolling instagram for five minutes is enough of a break to lower your blood pressure. Just, you know, plan it.

I have to tell you, this isn’t an original thought. I read it on Yes and Yes (can’t remember if it was the blog or instagram) and it was kind of life changing. I keep a sticky note on my desktop with a running list of common depleters and solutions ready to rock and roll when stress lunges at me, so I don’t even have to blink an eye when I’m all like “not today, Satan.”

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