When I turned 30 last year I started to realize some things about myself. Little personality quirks, strengths and weaknesses, and one major revelation that hit me harder than any other – I'm a workaholic.
My husband has been telling me this for years. Did I listen? Of course not. For a long time I didn't even believe there was such a thing, not really.
Then I realized that I rarely take days off and, whether on or off the clock, I'm almost always working on something.
I couldn't let anything go. Many days, work started before I even got to the office and continued throughout the week and into the weekend when it transitioned into house work.
Once I accepted the truth I had to move forward, and that's the hardest part. As with any issue we face, we must first accept that we have a problem before we can begin the process of recovery.
Learning to balance life with a full-time career means that I must make a conscious effort to stop working when I leave the office. Easy to say and hard to do, but I'm getting there.
Now, when I feel like doing too much, I try to do too little. It's been difficult, but I'm making some progress.
September is National Recovery and Self Care Awareness Month, dedicated to promoting awareness of substance abuse treatments, mental and personal health services and the importance of taking care of ourselves.
Recovery Month aims to celebrate success and raise awareness of the need to eliminate negative habits and embrace self-care.
In honor of that, I'll share my small steps to overcoming my own personal obstacles.
After admitting I actually have a problem, I started channeling my excess energy into hobbies. I bake and cross stitch – both of which earned me second place ribbons in last year's county fair. Sometimes, I just lay around.
Last weekend I did very little, and actually felt pretty good about it. This weekend, in recognition of Self Care Awareness, my goal is to do even less.
All of it feels strange though. I always feel like I should be doing something productive – and what's more productive than working? I'll tell you: working on yourself.
Once again, easy to say and hard to do, but when I started making small changes I began to feel better.
Instead of worrying that I did too much or too little, I started to feel more satisfied with what I had done. Enjoying a little success by achieving that daily work/life balance makes me feel accomplished.
Living a happy, healthy life is more important that any job you'll ever have and has more of an impact on you and your family than any career choice you could make.
I encourage everyone, whether you're feeling overworked or underproductive, to take time to think about what you're really accomplishing when you take just a little bit of time for yourself and celebrate your success as you work toward creating the best version of yourself.