"Good Afternoon Party People!" This is the phrase I say almost every day when I walk into work. I guess it's my way of trying to make the afternoon a little lighter when I walk in. I want those I work with to enjoy their environment. I want them to alway have a great day at work, but that's something not always achievable. I was talking to a friend about feeling burnt out, and she said you can only give until you have no more "pie." Now, while that sounds very confusing, it really does make perfect sense.
The analogy goes like this. When you start your day you have a full pie to give out. Throughout the day when something goes wrong, when a deadline ends up being today instead of two days from now, when you give encouragement to a fellow coworker, you give more and more pieces of pie out. At some point in the day, hopefully not, but sometimes, you end up only having a piece or two left of your emotional “pie”.
Unfortunately, there are also days when you run completely out of pie. Here's the positive side, you can be given more pie from your leader, or by someone doing something nice for you. If you're running low on pie but someone offers to help, or gives you some emotional pie of theirs you "refill." The downside is, when you give your emotional pieces out day after day and end up running out of pie for days on end, you start to burn out.
I am very bad at this. Not in any pity way, but hopefully this can help you if you're like me. We have to learn when we're getting low on pie and start to be careful where the pieces are going. Don't stop, because then we aren't helping to anyone. However, if you give out all the pie at the beginning of your day you aren't as helpful as you cold be the rest of the day. Or worse, you're still trying to give out pieces of pie without having any. You end up scraping the bottom of the tin, slowly burning the leftover crumbs.
We all need people in our lives that give us emotional "pie pieces" and it's important to let them know how grateful we are for them. It's also important to know when to say "I'll be with you in one minute" or "I'll call you back as soon as I am available." Creating boundaries isn't a bad thing. It's showing that you respect your time and theirs. You know when you can give a piece and when you just really need to take a moment and eat before you become super hangry.
This is what I've been going through the last few months. I go into work with little to no pie and try to give out pieces throughout the day. I will get there on the learning curve of boundaries, however there are some days that I fail miserably. I will learn though!
I remember that feeling from above. I remember how difficult it was for me to put up boundaries at work. I’m honestly still in the process of doing that, but it’s important for this post to stay, because there are so many people scrapping the bottom of their pan, and giving the bunt pieces of themselves out thinking that it’s a full piece.
Self care is important not only for you but also for others. We want to give our best selves in everything we do, but you have to be the best you to do so.
I’ve grown a lot over the past few years, but I’m still that workaholic trying to give pie on days I know I just need to take a breather and walk around the block.
I love the self care that includes bubble baths and relaxing, but don’t forget about the other self care as well. Mental and spiritual self care is just as important, because it’s the inward looking type of self care. Ask yourself those hard questions that aren’t always fun, and connect with those who love you enough to give you a piece of their pie and work through things with you.
You’ve got this!! Learning from what others have gone through and taking advice is so much better than having to learn it yourself. You get the knowledge without the struggle!
What do you do to make sure your mental “pie” stays full?