Happy Tuesday! Last week, we talked about the “STAY IN YOUR LANE” strategy. How did that resonate with you? Did you try it? If so, how did that change your stress and overwhelm levels? To follow up on that mindset shift, I’d like to offer you another one of my favorite strategies: “CARE BUT NOT CARRY”. When we take on other people’s worry, stress, and overwhelm to an excessive point, it weighs us down and zaps our own happiness, peace, and energy. Even if our heart is in the right place, we still feel the effects of carrying other people’s problems.
I’ve got such a great visual for this one! Close your eyes and imagine yourself walking through an airport pulling one suitcase behind you…just one that is yours. Keep picturing yourself walking to your gate and picking up more suitcases along the way…one by one. By the time you reach the gate, your own suitcase is buried underneath everyone else’s and they are all so heavy for you to pull. In fact, it’s too much for you and has you in a stressful state of mind at this point.
You might wonder how that happened and why you let it happen, right? It’s such a good thing to examine a situation and to figure out what happened so that you can choose differently next time. How do I care but not carry others’ burdens, especially when I do care about others and I have a kind heart? You can do both and still keep your own stress level low. When someone shares a struggle with you, you can genuinely listen and offer your support. The difference is offering your support in a way that works for you. For example, offering a friend who is struggling with a homemade dinner on a night that works for you is so much better than offering to bring her dinner every night next week without considering your schedule and obligations. Think before you offer so that your offer is genuine and will not create stress for you!
Also, we often carry other people’s stress when we don’t need to. Listen, be compassionate, offer support, pray for that person, and focus back on your own life. You can be compassionate to others without letting it overtake your life. It’s a boundary strategy that protects your mental and physical energy supply while still being a caring human.
So, I challenge you this week to CARE BUT NOT CARRY in a loving way to others and to yourself. The result is more energy and empowerment for you to focus on what you need inside and out! Give it a try and you might be surprised how you can be both loving and caring with this new boundary! Have an empowered week!
You’ve got this!