It’s the giving season as the holiday’s approach. My heart is always in the right place and I absolutely love doing for others and volunteering. Somewhere around December 1, I realized I totally overextended myself. I was going over my calendar for the month and I literally was having chest pains. I began to feel totally overwhelmed. I tend to overthink and began to worry about what I was serving for Hanukkah and Christmas, and it’s only the beginning of the month. I got to thinking, why do I do this to myself every year? I need to learn how to spread stuff out and to say no when I really can’t do something. I preach self-care, and it’s so important but I often forget that I need to practice what I preach.
I noticed I have been checked out. I have not been talking to my friends or family. Avoiding calls and just not feeling social.
I think we need to heed what our minds and bodies are telling us and pay attention to those cues. I was having telltale signs of being burnt out.
I feel guilty when someone reaches out to me for help and I say no. It’s a blessing and a curse. My mom always said expectations are resentments under construction.
I made too many commitments and I was really starting to feel stressed out. I resented some of the things I had to do because I made the commitment, but was feeling dragged in a hundred directions. I have spoken in a past blog about some serious medical issues I have been dealing with, and in order for me to save face and be Wonder Woman; I have neglected the fact that I need to rest and I need to make sure I take care of myself.
So, how do we set boundaries with friends, family, work and, commitments? I clearly have not been so great at doing this for myself.
Boundaries are a way to set rules and limits so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. How do we begin to set those boundaries?
- Take inventory of what you are capable of doing
- If you feel like you have to say no, do it and don’t feel guilty
- Self-care is so important; take time for yourself
- Don’t backtrack (don’t feel bad about saying NO)
- Ask for help if you need it; don’t be afraid to delegate
- Follow your instincts (they are usually always right)
- Limit the amount of things you commit to; give yourself room to balance your own needs and that which you give to others
- Build self-esteem- don’t feel that you will be rejected if you to set a limit
- Utilize a to-do list so that you can compartmentalize what needs to get done
- It’s okay if not everyone likes you- don’t change who you are for anyone
I made some plans to try and take care of myself this month by seeing old friends, going out to dinner, a few comedy shows, a sex toy party with the ladies, and even a girl’s day out at the spa, at the end of the month.
I thought I would share on my blog today, some of the fun things that we have planned as a family and with my friends. I also want to share a soul-warming recipe for my family latkes!
THINGS I AM DOING TO SELF-CARE:
Girls Spa Day
Hand and Stone Massage and Facial; 345 Mamaroneck Avenue, Mamaroneck NY 10543; Opens 9 am -9 pm; 268-9040
Hello Panda Festival, Citified; The largest lantern festival in the Northeast; 41 Seaver Way , Queens, NY
Comedy Club –
Levity Comedy Club, Palisades Mall; 4210 Palisades Center Drive, Nyack, NY ; www.levitylive.com
Sex Toy Party Company
Okay, enough of that LET’S EAT!
4 potatoes (I use Yukon gold)
1 large Onion
½ cup of matzah meal
Salt and pepper (a tablespoon of each)
Sour cream or Apple sauce
You can really top latkes with anything, be imaginative, we like it old school
- Grate the onion and squeeze out any moisture ( use cheesecloth or a kitchen towel)
- Peel and grate the potatoes, squeeze out all of the moisture
- Mix the onions and potatoes; if they still feel wet; squeeze again
- Add egg, salt, and pepper
- Combine mixture with matzah meal
- Heat the oil
- Take about a 1/3 cup and make into a patty form
- Fry until golden brown on both sides
(Keep the batches warm in the oven at 275 degrees) Top with your favorite toppings
Disclaimer – make double what you will think you need! I usually make this times five and nothing is ever left
Deborah Levine-Powell is a psychotherapist in New York, where she works with teenage girls who are victims of abuse and trafficking. She is a wife and a mom to a tween and teenager. When she is not working, you can find her engaged in PTA activities, a leader at Girl Scouts, having fun with her friends and family, while serving up hot soulful dishes in the kitchen.