Holiday Helpers for Healers
Happy Holidays; yes, they are upon us already!
What follows is a reminder for the healers among us to help cope with the specific issues that arise at this time of year for practitioners in care-giving professions. The Holidays can be an especially busy and stressful time for therapists. Providing long hours of intense, undivided attention can jangle even the most sturdy nerves.
In these next several weeks and months be sure to nurture yourself in small ways so that you may continue to nurture others. A few suggestions:
Trash your to-do list
Well, maybe not completely, but trust me - it needs revising - downward on the number of tasks you assign yourself on a daily basis - and inward on the "big picture" focus of what you hope to accomplish this season.
Revise your schedule: leave openings for YOU
It's temping to fill every slot that comes your way, especially if you are just starting your practice. But build in extra time between sessions to have a cup chai, read a few chapters of a fun fiction novel, go for short walk, bake some cookies or whatever recharges your batteries.
Take Breaks for Your Health
Your body is your temple. Remember that although you are a practitioner; you are also in need of the healing arts for yourself. Maybe it's time to think of ways to barter trades for bodywork or psychotherapy sessions? It's best to schedule mini-sessions throughout the weeks rather than waiting until Spring for one long decompression holiday. Therapists all need a little "adjusting" now and then; let's make it a present to ourselves this year to commit to following our own advice.
Clean Your Office
Try to keep your work space "clutter-free." I know, very Feng-Shui. However, anyone who has seen Hoarders knows that a messy space effects how we think and feel. Likely, your office isn't a total disaster, so it should be easy to spruce it up and add some bright, festive elements. Do it, and you'll feel better and work better.
Cultivate Your Social Environment
If you work with demanding, challenging clients, make sure your friends are mellow. It's not always possible, but make it a priority.
Stay social but try to surround yourself with easy-going souls - friends who acknowledge that life has ups and downs; and live each day to the best of their ability, looking for ways to be happy and healthy wherever they are, whenever they are, with whatever they have.
Keep Expectations Low
Sometimes we have limited control over our environment - where we live/practice and, and at least for the short-term; the weather. In our 'if you can dream you can do it' world, asking someone to lower their expectations feels like a taboo act. Do yourself a favor - try to lower your expectations and be pleasantly surprised.
I'm sure you already know all of the suggestions listed here and yet this is why Cognitive Behavioral Therapists have a steady job: People are crappy at sticking to good behavior patterns when they are under stress.
On that note, please know that we are cheering you on as you build healthy patterns that allow you to enjoy the holiday season.
Happy Holidays to All!