“IF ONLY I FOLLOWED MY OWN ADVICE” – CARRYING A LIGHT IN THE DARK WITHOUT BURNING OUT
Having a meaningful job, spending time with family, volunteering for the community, fostering deep friendships, challenging oneself through hobbies and getting enough down time are all things that are regularly mentioned as building blocks for a fulfilling life. But what if life gets filled too full? How do we reduce stress when all the things we do seem equally important? Are we even allowed to prioritize our own well-being when there are so many others we could be helping?
In our fast-paced and interconnected world, it is all too easy to get caught up in the constant demands and expectations placed upon us. The pressure to be constantly productive and helpful can lead to a sense of guilt when we take time for ourselves. However, neglecting our own well-being ultimately undermines our ability to be truly present and effective in our various roles. Recognizing the need for balance and actively making choices that prioritize our long-term well-being is not only beneficial for our own mental and physical health but also for our relationships and the impact we have on the world.
It is time to give ourselves and each other permission to prioritize self-care without guilt, knowing that only by nurturing our own well-being, taking care of ourselves, and protecting our own emotional and physical health, are we better equipped to contribute meaningfully and sustainably to the well-being of those around us. It is time to shift our mindset and embrace the idea that self-care is not a luxury but both a radical act of resistance and an essential ingredient for leading a balanced and fulfilling life.
Juho Mertanen is a mental health consultant, speaker, trainer, and a licenced clinical psychologist specializing in organizational well-being and occupational health. He provides support for public, private, and non-government organizations in their efforts to build psychosocially sustainable working cultures.