For some years now I have believed that Stress is an inappropriately and over used word for many different symptoms and signs that the body is in a state of dis-ease.
Hans Selye wrote “The general adaptation syndrome and the diseases of adaptation.” in 1946. If you have read it then I’m sure you can agree that most clients who come through our doors are in this state of dis-ease.
Stress has become such a common word that it translates itself as le stress and der stress in French and German respectively and it can almost be catalogued in terms of the 7 ages of man.
Babies who are stressed when they are born; toddlers having too much TV or electronic entertainment; young children in schools facing pressure and stress from their peers and teachers; teenagers with external pressures from society, poor diet and hormones affecting their mental health. Young adults facing huge long-term debts in order to develop a career path; parents with young children juggling their responsibilities with the lives of their families and the aging population and the diseases that are becoming more prevalent.
So as therapists how do we look after ourselves? I'm reminded about the fact that Paul McKenna has his own life coach to help him maintain his health and wellness.
Complementary Therapists often have a deep personal commitment to helping others on their path towards their health goals,yet, riding on the success of our clients is not reward enough to keep us healthy. Our self-care strategies should not be a casual list of activities or interests which take place during our week when we can fit it in. We should have in place our own to sustain our energies, continue to develop our skills and maintain our best work as therapists.
An effective and efficient self-care routine should be non-negotiable. Does your self-care strategy ensure that you are managing your stress and strain so that you are present with your clients, at peace within yourself and informed with new knowledge so that you can be your most effective?
So, I invite you to take some time to perform your own self check:
· Do you set clear boundaries with your time? - this is when I work; this is “me” time.
· Do you have restorative activities scheduled into your daily habits?
· Do you protect these times so that work does not intrude upon them?
· Do you make use of the professional collaboration at The Practice Rooms where therapists can exchange treatments/session?
· Do you schedule and budget for continued education in your field?
We walk the talk; continued growth and self-examination help us to see the world,ourselves and our clients for what they are. In these challenging times, I invite you to commit to reviewing your self-care plan and now more than ever, plan your daily routines to ensure you can serve yourself, your family and your clients. Be safe and be well.