Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!
Frazzled Marc, half way through my 40s!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Take Time For Yourself

At what point does volunteer work become bad for you? When does it become septic and the good you feel from giving your time cost you in terms of mental and physical health? What do you do about the guilt you feel when you need to pull back and others say, "No, we need you! No one does that position better than you!"

I learned first hand this spring about the negative effects of volunteer work and helping others. For the last couple months, I loaded up on bartending shifts at the Fire House when others went on vacation, agreed to help at three major events for the Lodge (not to mention on top of my normal bartending and managing duties), collected boxes upon boxes of magazines to donate for the hospital waiting rooms, watched my neighbor's cat, watered her plants, and took care of her house while she has been away for two weeks, and tried to take care of my household. WHAT WAS I THINKING???

I can tell you I wasn't thinking NO! LOL. You want to be nice, you want to help out, but enough is enough! And it came at a particularly stressful time at work for one reason and another .... and another. :)

Don't get me wrong, I fully admit I chose all of this to do. I like volunteering for these groups and like helping others. Sometimes, it just gets a bit crazy and you realize, hey I have a little bit to much on my tray!

Volunteering to do things gives you a sense of self worth. It means helping others. It makes you feels good and gives a sense of satisfaction that you have made a difference in someone's life.

There is a point though, when you load more on than you can handle. You reach that breaking point where you want to explode, or in my case, crawl under the nearest rock and quietly implode. Volunteer work becomes bad for your health. You become resentful, stubborn in your views, and dare I say, a little touchy and grouchy at others suggestions on how things should be done.

Healthwise, you develop headaches, become restless, and a good night's sleep is a thing of the past! Allergies get worse, your immune system goes down, ya get a damn head cold at the end of spring. Your thoughts race ... did I forget that? Why does it seem like I am the only one helping? Why can't we ALL JUST GET ALONG!!!

Hopefully you don't implode or explode. I almost did. Now as I step back and view these last couple months, I realize I need to take more time for myself. We aren't gettin' any younger folks! For future reference, I will be enjoying my summer and putting in as little time as possible in my volunteer work.

It doesn't mean that I don't care and don't wanna help. It just means that at the end of the day, I am the most important person in my life and if I don't take care of myself, I won't be able to help others. Sounds a bit narcissistic but you know we all need to spend more time on ourselves. A little self pampering can go a long way.

I need to better learn what my limits are. I need to learn that it's alright to say no. That it's not the end of the world.

By the way, if you think this is about you ... it's not. LOL. It's all about me. But if it applies to you, I hope I helped you recognize your own frustration and I wholly commiserate with you! :) Stay strong my friends and take some time for yourself!

1 comment:

  1. Marc, I have some projects down here in New Mexico that I need help with. Want to come down for a visit and help? You made a very good case for stepping back a little and doing for yourself. We all need that from time to time.
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