Stress and fatigue can become a cycle. The higher the stress, the more pressure we feel to get everything done as fast as possible to alleviate the stress. The fight or flight mechanism kicks in and taking care of ourselves goes on the back burner.
It works for a short period of time, but this intense focus can cause a lack of perspective, where somehow answering every email immediately or addressing every little detail feels imperative. Inevitably, the law of diminishing returns kicks in and the 12th hour is less productive than the 1st or the 8th hour.
On top of that, the mind is powerful. Being stressed or anxious or fearful drains you and can lead you to seek easy comfort in things that may not serve you long term. Creative, visionary and strategic capabilities go out the window and it feels as if our value comes from being responsive and high volume producers instead of quality contributors.
If that's not working for you any longer and you want to create a lifestyle that replenishes and rejuvenates you, take a step back and check your priorities.
What is truly important?
When are you at your best?
Perhaps you've heard of the analogy of the golf balls. Say you have a 1 gallon jug, half a gallon of sand, some gravel, some medium-sized rocks and two big rocks.
If you pour the little things (like sand and gravel) in first, then there is no space for the big rocks, the important things in life. But if you start with the two big rocks, the gravel and sand fill the cracks around them and everything fits.
Remember, you are your biggest asset. The best thing you can do for yourself, for those you love and for your work is to show up at your best every day.
By giving yourself permission to take care of you, by seeing your value as inherent in you, you stop putting yourself last and can begin to create a rejuvenating lifestyle that sticks. This is one of the best investments you can make.