I hope everyone had a good restful weekend. Today I would like to talk about self-care. Recently I was thinking, as a helping professional, we are asked to volunteer our time, do more for our clients, help out more with the community, etc. Many psychologists and counsellors have been saying that they have seen an increase in their business, that they are reaching capacity when it comes to seeing clients. This made me wonder, are the people helping others taking care of themselves? Well, taking good enough care for themselves?
Dear therapists, and other helping/caregiving professionals, and bosses of these helping/caregiving professionals, you are human, you are important too. It is so important for us to learn our own limits, to know how to un-busy our schedule so that we have time to meditate, to exercise, to take a breather, to get ready for a therapy session, to reflect after session. It is so important that we take care of ourselves to reduce the chances of making mistakes, to increase our inner capacity to see clients/patients, to be fully present in session, to not be anxious during sessions, to not be rushing and frantic between sessions. The key to being a good therapist is starting with understanding your own needs, to know what heals you so that you can do the same for your clients.
The past year has been a rollercoaster for me. It’s been stressful, it’s been relaxing, it’s been exciting, it’s been anxiety provoking, it’s been happy, it’s been sad. I’ve had all sorts of emotions go through my mind and body.
I feel excited when I get clients who find me online and send me a message to want to set up counselling sessions with me. Yet I feel stressed at the same time navigating all my side jobs and businesses that I’m doing. I used to feel exhausted by the end of the day or be rushing from session to session. However, after practicing mindful self-compassion and taking some time to find out, what do I really want and really need. I’ve found solace in slowing down. I have spread out my counselling sessions. I have started organising my time. I have started asking myself, what do I need? I allow myself to stop beating myself up for being tired. I have allowed myself time to breathe. I have allowed myself to ask for help. All these gave me more mental space to reflect and constantly learn to be a better person, and in turn, a better therapist.
Dear caregiving professionals, find a way to refill your tank. You have been giving and giving for the longest time. It’s OK to say, “I need a break”. Find time for YOU: Exercise, meditate, explore, read a book, practice self-compassion, do yoga, take a class, do art, have fun, go to the playground, or take a staycay. Ask yourself, “What do I need most right now?”, and do it! You matter as much as others do.
Have a lovely week ahead! Till next time!