Know Your Limits

I’m back! I took last week off just to get caught up on my own stuff. And actually, that’s exactly what I want to write about today.

I wrote earlier this year about the Spoon Theory and how you have a limited number of spoons per day. In addition to recognizing that you have limited spoons, you also need to recognize that once spoons are out, you’re done. You’re at your limit.

It is so important to able to understand when you are at your limit. We live in a society where pushing yourself to the point of exhaustion is praised. How dumb is that! You need to be able to actively take care of yourself. At the end of the day, you’re gonna burn out harder and faster if you’re unable to know your limits.

Spoons are finite. Jobs aren’t everything. You have to be able to care for yourself. When you take care of yourself, you do better at your job. You have more spoons. You can do more things if you operate safely within your limits versus running at full capacity until you burn out.

It’s okay not to give your all. It’s okay to draw back, whether it be at work or in something else. Your mental health and taking care of yourself comes before any other responsibilities you may have. I don’t think I can stress the importance of that.

I’m in my third year teaching, and I’m already learning a lot of things about myself and my teaching style. I have a couple classes that try my patience every single day I have them. AND they’re back to back. Consequently, it’s rough. But I’m able to recognize my limits. Clearly, something I’m doing isn’t working so I need to change tactics. In addition, I’m hopeful that once their grades start dropping (I’ve been busy and refuse to take work home), that’ll straighten out some of them. But I know that probably won’t get all of them. But that being said, I feel a little more capable than I did last year. I would practically cry every time I had to yell at my students last year, and this year, I can lecture and use my teacher voice without getting as emotional.

Because I’m learning my limits and trying to safely operate within them, it’s meaning I’m pulling back on other things. It also means I’m learning to give myself a lot of grace when I need it. For me right now, it’s really about accepting who I am exactly where I am, instead of trying to look for the future and wish my life was further than it was. I’m taking steps forward, and it’s progress, no matter how small those steps may be. I’ve been meditating a decent amount, and a big takeaway from it is reminding yourself to be present in the moment you find yourself.

So find your limits. Know them so you can operate safely within them. Give yourself grace. It’s okay to pull back. You don’t need to take gigantic steps, as long as you keep making progress.

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