At the beginning of the year I started Practicum class. Practicum is when, as a student, you begin seeing clients. During the first class Professor Bell handed us are syllabi and I glanced to the required reading and noticed a lot of books on self-care. To be honest I was not overly excited to read them but I did. I was not sure how a mom of 4, a student, counselor and business owner was going to engage in self-care but I figured I would at least toy with the idea.
As soon as my eyes open in the morning my mind is going? I am thinking about all I need to accomplish in a day. Who do I need to call? What crisis do I need to manage? How will I continue to grow our business? How can I help my clients? I am also checking my email, voicemail message, text messages and social media messages several times a day and usually respond immediately. My mind is constantly going.
My husband swooped me away this summer to an island in the middle of Lake Erie. We rented a golf cart, set up camp and was looking forward to several days of relaxation. We were there about an hour and I begun to feel restless. I was constantly checking my messages, responding to my staff and just wondering what was going on at work, with my kids and with my clients. My husband says something to me along the lines of
“Have you ever noticed that you have problems relaxing.”
Me? Have trouble relaxing? Why would he even think is? Does he not realize how important I am? I just can’t unplug and be disconnected from life.
I kept my thought to myself and went for a little walk. I kept replaying his words in my head and came to the conclusion that the idea of relaxing was a matter of opinion and some people just cannot do it. I was one of them! BAM! I solved that ridiculous, unhelpful chatter in my head. However, I decided while I was away with my husband I would try to relax, even though I was not sure what that meant.
Fast forward to this month. My husband and I had the opportunity to attend a leadership conference. At the last session we attended on Friday my husband was poking me in the side, making noises and grinning ear to ear. What was the topic you asked?
How good leaders take time to relax, unplug and refill. The speaker even made a joke that he knew it was hard because as we were sitting there most of us are composing at least 6 emails. How did he know?
I finally heard the message.
I need to change.
I need to learn to relax, have fun and recharge.
Parents often ask me in therapy “How many times do I have to tell my kids something before they get it?” To which I respond “The same amount of times you have to tell yourself before you change.” I had to hear this message three times before even considering beginning the process.
Change happens when:
- I realize there is a problem
- I create a plan to work on the problem
- I execute a solution.
I have a plan! I am currently on vacation and I am going to try really hard to relax, have fun and refill my energy bucket this week. I know this will involve constantly changing my thoughts, not responding to messages right away and most importantly constant self-talk but I want to be a great a leader so I am willing to begin the change process this week. I will let you know how I do!:)