Burned Out By Care-Taking? Replenish Yourself In 3 Steps

In Chinese Meridian Theory there are 5 Elements and each Element corresponds to a time of the year. Now, we are in the season of Earth, the late summer time of year. These are the last few hot days of summer, which will soon be turning into autumn. The Earth Element is about being grounded.

We all have a part of the Earth Element within us. Some people have more qualities of the Earth Element within them than other people.  If you enjoy caring for others. If you often find people confiding in you, and you naturally provide for others, you probably have a lot of the Earth Element in you.

Learning about the 5 Elements means learning about balance. If you notice you have these qualities of compassion, empathy, and grounded-ness of the Earth Element, you may be prone to burn out, worry, and feelings of overwhelm.  Within each Element there are positive emotions and challenging emotions. It is the goal of 5 Elements theory to move into more of our positive emotions so that we can be our best selves.

Here are 3 ways you can replenish yourself so that your sense of nourishment, peace, and contentment is overflowing so that you can give more to others:

1. Meditate your Central Channel

The Central Channel is a meridian that consists of two parts: the Governing Vessel flows up the back and the Conception Vessel flows down the front of your body in the midline. Sit with a straight spine in a comfortable position and imagine the flow of this meridian moving like a river up your spine and flowing like a waterfall down the front of you. The Central Channel helps strengthen your sense of self so that you are strong in your center, and then you can give through your strength and not from your sense of depletion.

2. Let Go

This quote from T.S. Eliot often comes to my mind when I think about a balanced Earth Element: "teach us to care and not to care / teach us to sit still". The imbalance of Earth is to worry too much, to take too much in, and try to control things outside your control. If you took the pain in of the whole world, it would be overwhelming! Once you give your sincere effort to contribute to those around you, let go of the rest, and let the higher powers of the universe take over.

3. Avoid Sugar

When someone has a sweet personality, they sometimes crave sweet food.  Refined sugar can increase feelings of worry, obsession, and self-pity. Try to get the sweet taste through sweet potatoes and brown rice. Increasing your intake of green veggies will help ease cravings for sugar, too. As you eat your green veggies imagine yourself moving from your thinking mind into the stable feeling of your feet on the ground.

When you feel as if you have given too much to others and you want to take your life back into your own hands, try meditating on your center, letting go of what you can't change, and eating foods to build your stability.

This process takes time but it is completely possible and you will be a better caretaker for others!