How long do you wait until you run out of mental or emotional fuel?

Another journey to pick my son up from nursery and the light on the dashboard flashed on again. Yes, almost out of fuel.

It got me thinking of various refueling habits I’ve adopted over the years. There were times as a student that I’ve been on vapour before I succumbed to a filling station. But during the fuel shortage last year, I didn’t dare let my car drop below half a tank before seeking out a service station. And currently I drop down to around the red line before filling up.

The one thing I never do is allow my car to hit rock-bottom empty – I always keep an eye on the gauge to make sure I never run out of fuel.

But how often do we allow ourselves to hit empty?

I know that in my education role, I frequently skipped breaks, even lunch. No – stuffing a sandwich into your face on the go in between meetings or at your desk is NOT a lunch break in case you wondered!

I also know that many school staff-rooms lie either eerily empty or have the appearance of a train station at rush hour with people flying in and out trying to grab something on the fly. Restful it’s not. If it was a gas station, you would never take your car there – nothing gets refueled properly!!

The busy nature of the job, the culture of the profession and the demanding expectations create an environment where staff are not putting their physical refueling a priority. If basic physical needs are not being taken care of, what must that say about the prioritisation of emotional and mental health needs?

Humans are more productive physically, emotionally, and mentally when we stop to refuel. Be that having a proper lunch break or spending a bit of quality time on yourself, it is vital to healthy function.

You would not dream of letting your car run out of fuel – if you did, the car stops working and can no longer function.

So, time to check YOUR gauge. Are you okay? Are you running low and not functioning at your best? Or are you on vapours and about to splutter to a halt?

If you need some support, having the chance to “stop and step back” is vital to your healthy function. Coaching can provide you with a pit-stop to refuel, so you can go on your journey in peak performance.

Message to receive a free guide for reducing stress and improving your mental well-being so you are ready to tackle big life decisions to find your happy journey forward.


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