Am I right or am I right! Regardless of your celebratory choices and geographic location(s) this (and arguably any time) is the time for GIVING. For me this is the right time because I am now out of school for a few precious short weeks. I'm on the clock per-say.
I wanted to use this opportunity to remind us/you; the therapists, counselors, artists, parents -- that GIVING is something we should practice often. In every sense of the word. WordNik offers the conventional definitions of ideally imparting something to someone with out expectation of anything in return. For my purpose here I can live with that definition. However, I would like to extend our perception of the plausible definitions of GIVING to include the SELF. As the empathetic, caring individuals that most of us tend to be we have a tendency of GIVING too much and forgetting that sometimes we need to receive as well. A balancing of the scales if you will.
Consider that as a helping professional, be that teacher or therapist, we too become drained. It can be a slow burn or quick match, but the outcome tends to be the same...a decline in the services we provide to our consumers. That doesn't mean that we outright burn-out, but it can mean a gradual increase in "getting-snappy", emotional, depressed, moody, you name it. We've all been there at some point or another. It happens. As providers we need to become aware of indicators in ourselves and in our colleagues and be WILLING to accept it. It is only through acceptance that we can then do something about it.
- Here is my "food for thought"... Be willing to GIVE yourself what you need. For starters GIVE yourself the gift of time. To clear your thoughts of daily jargon, of useless nonsense that is causing unneeded stress.
- GIVE yourself distractions as needed throughout the day. A minute here, three there, every little-bit helps and it doesn't need to be obvious. Sometimes I like to stay a couple of extra minutes in the shower being mindful of the steaming hot water, the smell of that luxurious soap (the one you splurged-on and only bring-out from time to time), maybe lighting that aromatherapy candle or sipping tea...snuggling in a cuddly bath robe (even if it's out of style or a tacky pattern, do it because its what you need).
- Every once in a while GIVE yourself a retreat (the items above can be included) and I don't mean the expensive kind. Some may have such a place in their home. I, myself, prefer it being outside. Explore a new town, a park...or dare I say it, a nursery (not the one with crying babies). For example, when I need a pic-me-up I take myself to "My-Park" which is simply any of my three favorite nurseries in town. The ones that do not look like major retailers but instead offer a canopy of loved and tended greenery arranged in the appearance of a manicured garden! When I go, I always take my camera. It gives me a sense of exploration, like I am on a quest. A scavenger hunt for nothing in particular. Before you know it you will have spent (at least) 30minutes breathing fresh air and possibly getting some sunshine.
- I will then say that when all else fails and the cruddy-icky feeling lingers...then its time to bust-out the heavy artillery. For me that is dark chocolate, wine, music, and a room full of art supplies! (not to say that quite often this is my first choice when GIFTING myself a time-out) But in the end, I am a visual learner and I find the exchange with the art media to be cathartic. I GIVE the media, through my manipulation of it, my stressors and in the end it GIVES me peace of mind. Its a relationship strickly built on trust and honesty. I entrust my raw emotions and it reflects them back at me, it contains them so I don't feel burdened, it allows me to breathe. --- What gives you that sense of mutuality?