This is a mere reflection of my discovery and usage of Self-Care.
Not just using Self-Care as a ‘once in a while’ thing, but dedicating my energy towards utilizing it so that it becomes a lifestyle, rather than a reactive response for when life gets stressful.
If I could choose one word to describe the physical involvement of my work at times, it would be: Sweat.
I had been working with a client when things had escalated which led me to intervene and de-escalate my client back to safety.
I was a sweaty mess. I had taken on more than I should have at work and was burnt out. At this point, I hadn’t even realized I was burnt out.
I guess one could say that my mindset back then equated being burnt out as doing a great job or overextending myself.
I mean, my supervisor thought the world of me and was happy with my performance at work. Truth, I felt the complete opposite.
The Tell Tale Signs
I was working later past anyone in my similar role as a behavior analyst. I can’t count the number of times I got caught in the pouring rain, loading my car to go work with my client who I would later get a text or call that they eloped from the property.
I thought, ‘when will this end? Will I ever catch up with work?’
I was the clinician that craved having things in order. Things weren’t in order. I was the clinician that took pride in turning things on time. Things weren’t getting turned in on time. I was the clinician that arrived 5 minutes early for leadership meetings. I was arriving 15 minutes late due to the exhaustion carried over from the previous day.
I wanted no parts of work and every Monday morning I would cry in my closet.
There were two big red flags.
It was the end of the day and I was just finishing up with a client. While in the bathroom, I looked at myself in the mirror and barely recognized myself. I looked sad, unrecognizable at best.
The second and final straw was on a random Sunday morning, my husband and I were driving to church when a simple question he asked, caused me to respond with an elevated pitch. When asked what was wrong, I retorted, “I’m burnt out!”
I knew I had to change.
Self-Care is a lifestyle, not a chore you do every once in a while.
I knew what I needed to get back to. Movement. Clean Eating. Praying. Teaching dance at my local high school.
When I started to prioritize my passions, I saw observable changes.
And that was just the beginning.
Data Driven Mindset.
I started to realize part of being a behavior analyst was being able to display positive behavior on purpose.
How can I help someone else if my own ‘stuff’ was messy, distorted, and not together?
I needed to start measuring this. I can’t just say I wanted to change.
I needed to put the pen to paper and generate goals to be able to track my progress.
Self-Care needed to be more than just something I did when I remembered that I needed it. I needed to be proactive in the practice of exercising my right to take care of me and make myself a priority.
It was my new non-negotiable to myself.
3 months went by and I realized self-care had become part of my routine. I went back to teaching dance at my local high school. I started consistently going to Barre class and my mindful eating became an integral part of mealtimes.
I no longer ignored the not so friendly nudge to spend time taking care of myself.
It was right there to greet me every morning.
To schedule a “me time” call, it’s as simple as a click here
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