I think there comes a point in everyone's life where we get overloaded. Overwhelmed. Exhausted. Drained.
And sometimes even though we are zapped, we keep trucking because we have to, need to or want to. Essentially, we override our nervous system that is telling us to stop because it's at capacity. So, if were gonna do that we're going to have to compensate. 0-1= not enough! Needs to be replenished back to zero or above! Simple math y'all.
Working in Human Services, this balance is talked about regularly because we are dealing with chronically needy people that often drain us faster than "normal" relationships. They call this "compassion fatigue" and they actually teach classes on how to balance out your life so that you can give. This care of Staff members is "cutting edge" in the behavioral health world and they are starting to realize that above adequate care is needed so that the health workers don't run themselves into the ground. This makes perfect sense to me seeing as a fundamental truth is:
You can't take care of anyone else if you don't take care of yourself first!
Fundamental truth, folks. It's real whether ya like it or not;)
This is relevant to my day to day survival right now. I am surrounded by crisis both at work and at home and I find myself dragging ass daily, falling asleep outrageously early and generally unable to cope with basic stressors. I have a regimen of self care techniques (eat greens, take vitamins, breathing exercises, personal time) but with these tremendous circumstances I really need to up my game. THEREFORE, I have created a personal list of 10 things I can do to EXTRA take care o' myself right now.
(I think that this experience is not limited to the Human Services world...
Sometimes stressors stack up in our lives no matter what: school, work, relationships, family, friends, pets, deaths, births, large life changes etc.
I would challenge YOU to make your OWN list of 10 things to do when you feel the need to override your nervous system that way you have it on hand when your brain wants ta shut down and you need to recharge.)
Without further adieu,
1.) Kitty Therapy: My cats are free (not really, but y'know) therapy waiting by my door for me to get home. There is something SO restorative about petting a purring animal and soaking in the blithe lifestyle that they get to live. It stops time for me for just a moment. I adore them so.
2.) Coffee and Cafe Time: My favorite cafe downtown is such a source of relaxation for me. They have a clean, calm atmosphere and usually play bossa nova or big band in the mornings. I love sitting outside with a good book or my computer, drinking coffee, smoking the intermittent cigarette and people watching. Cathartic retreat.
3.) Movie Date with Myself: I love going to the movies alone. Something brainless that I can sink into for two hours while sitting in a freezing theater and drinking a caramel blended coffee. People in Arizona do this a lot just to escape the heat during the summer. I foresee a lot of movie watching in my future.
4.) Swimming: The world totally disappears underwater. I also get such a kick out of belting out opera in the deep end. Its like your own concert hall, and no one can hear you. Weird? Maybe. Awesome? Totally.
5.) Personal Makeover Day: I rarely wear more than the basics and thus it is SO fun to pull out the curlers, bucket of make up and products from Neutrogena (wink wink) and go to town for a few hours. Sometimes I'll experiment and sometimes I'll revert back to the old pin up basics but either way I feel beautiful afterward.
6.) Write a Novel: Not really a novel. Maybe a few paragraphs, but being able to put something into words is liberating for me.
7.) Take a Drive with a Soundtrack: I love driving fast with loud relaxing music.
9.) Craft or Paint Some Therapeutic Art: There's a reason why there is a thing called Art Therapy.
8.) Make a List of Why I'm Awesome: This may be hard or easy for you. I find that I dont often take the time to collect reasons why I'm rad so this is a learning lesson for me. It feels super good afterwards and I usually keep the list around for when I forget.
I'm going to take my own advice and follow through with a few of these this week.
Hell, I'm going to do one of them right now.
10 Reasons Why I'm Awesome:
1. I'm an intellectual and critical thinker
2. I was born with 206 creative bones in my body
3. Empathy comes naturally to me
4. I like the way I'm put together
5. I have an inappropriate sense of humor
6. I can bake circles around most people
7. I've got an open mind
8. I care. I care. I care.
9. I'm a leader, a public speaker, an advocate, and a trailblazer
10. I'm comfortable in my own skin
11. I can make lists about why I'm awesome
Do you want to share your lists of 10 reasons why you're awesome?
This is a challenge. I dare you to come up with them!