It is all so easy to make statements and suggestions. It is often not so easy to practice what you preach.
I openly share with my clients (and readers) that I never make a suggestion on something that I haven’t tried or do myself. When we are honest with others, they are more likely to pay attention to what we are saying. I struggle right along with everyone else in regards to maintaining balance in my life. Work can easily take precedent over scheduling exercise, eating healthy and simply stopping to rest.
I use this space to help educate but also hold myself responsible in regards to the suggestions I provide for others. I feel that as a counselor and coach, it is somewhat hypocritical of me to tell others to practice self care or change their schedule if I don’t share what I am attempting to do also. It is also important to share that I sometimes struggle with finding balance.
As we move into Fall, like many others, my schedule has changed and become busier with not only additional work but fun additions of football games, weekend trips and monthly get togethers. Any small addition to life can throw the balance and suddenly make everything difficult to handle. After all, there is still the normal day to day activities included such as grocery shopping, cleaning the house and running errands.
Knowing that the upcoming months are going to be tightly scheduled, I sat down in August and began looking at things I needed to do for myself. Sadly, I had delayed getting a massage for most of the summer (no excuses other than I didn’t do it), and now that I have a lighter hair color that means maintenance visits must occur more often.
Fortunately, I was able to schedule both activities for this past Friday afternoon. Although I did have work to do from 8:30 (site visit) to 12:30, all Friday afternoon was mine. This was also a great example of how I could model for the social worker who is receiving clinical supervision for me, I simply told her I could only see her in the morning as my afternoon was for self care. This was only able to happen because I had the time scheduled for myself.
I am grateful for the opportunity to look several weeks ahead in my schedule and realize I needed a self care afternoon. I don’t feel guilty about setting aside this time as my body and mind needed a rest. Sadly, many continue to struggle with the thought that self care is selfish. Without stopping, it is not possible to continue giving: to our work, to our family, to our friends.
If you are fortunate enough to have today off, I encourage you to stop. Take a deep breath and reevaluate what you need to do next. Busy schedules often make it feel as if everything is a priority when the reality is very few things are. It is up to each individual to take a step back and recalibrate the balance in their life.
Despite a very long to do list, today I hope to spend the whole day without makeup and not leaving my house if I can help it. I will prepare for the week ahead but that list can wait.
Do you practice what you preach or find there is a struggle? Are you taking some time to rest?