After several bad things happened to me and people I loved, I found myself emotionally spent. Self-care kept me from avoiding a breakthrough, but I drew a line in the sand: I had to figure out how to be empathetic for people and their problems without burning out.
I often find myself in need of something quick and clean to eat after the kids have been fed and sent to bed. But who feels like doing serious cooking at that point? And if I am cooking, I better get some serious payoff.