Overworked WomanHave you ever been talking with a friend or reading a book when something she says or writes stops you dead in your tracks?
A few weeks ago, while reading Cheryl Richardson’s book, The Art of Extreme Self-Care, I came across these words, “Overgiving (or overeating or overworking for that matter), is often a sign of deprivation—a signal that a need isn’t being met, an emotion isn’t being expressed, or a void isn’t getting filled.”
Wow! I came across these words at just the right time, after working several 50-60-hour weeks in a row. Sure, I was exercising and taking Pilates two or three times a week, but I wasn’t tending to other important areas of my life for becoming and staying healthy, and I was feeling the effects.
Can you relate?

Where Do You Feel Deprived?

Here are some great questions, adapted from Cheryl’s book, to help you determine where in your life or relationships you feel deprived.

  1. Where do I feel deprived physically, emotionally, and relationally?
  2. What am I hungry for? Friendship? Rest? Healthy connection?
  3. What do I need more of in my life right now?
  4. What do I need less of in my life?

Your answer to these questions will help you identify changes that you need to make. The more specific you can make it, the better.

Creating an Action Plan

For example:

  1. Instead of just saying, I need more downtime, be specific. In my case, I am making an intentional choice to work no more than 40 hours a week three out of four weeks a month. In addition, I decided to schedule coffee or dinner with a friend at least once a week, or more.
  1. Rather than saying, I need to eliminate toxic people from my life, I identified two negative, critical people in my life. I am choosing to limit time with these people, while identifying and spending time with others who share common values and interests.
  1. Instead of saying, I need to eliminate physical and emotional clutter from my life, I’ve committed to spending 30 minutes a day to decluttering my physical space and 15 minutes a day to decluttering my emotional space by processing negative thoughts and feelings in a journal.

Becoming aware of areas in your life where you are deprived and creating a practical plan to address those areas is critical for good health and optimal wellness.
In what areas of life do you feel deprived? What changes in your life do you need to make?