Honestly, I am not one to really enjoy being away from work. Not anymore anyways. When working in retail/restaurant all your life, calling in sick was a thrilling way to get out of work and do what you really love to do. But, when your job is what you really love to do, then you become that crazy person who might be on vacation, go to a store, and see something and get so excited because it would be perfect for your students.
yeah, I've done that.
Even now, as I sit here drinking hot tea and trying to relax, I feel antsy. I keep thinking of my kiddos who might be having a bad day and need to chat, or the small groups that I am missing because I am home. But you know, I would have it no other way.
When I was younger, there were a lot of people who told me I needed to find a job that paid well. A job that would provide. Money was never an issue for me and I knew that loving whatever it was I did was payment enough. I see so many adults who end up in jobs that they hate. The daily stress of that weighs on them. But soon enough they feel obligated and tied down, and those people never do what they love.
But, as you know, passionate counselors can feel a daily stress too and that's where self-care comes in.
The American Counseling Association states, "often counselors do not practice what they preach." We ask our students to take care of themselves, whether in the form of coping and building emotional resilience, but we ourselves decide to stretch ourselves to the limit.
As counselors, it is necessary to create our very own wellness plan. You can find some awesome wellness strategies here. For me, I know I am close to feeling overwhelmed when my body turns on me. I get sick maybe twice a year, and generally it is at times when I am vulnerable- either emotionally, spiritually, or physically. I have not worked out in two weeks. I have a variety of significant events coming up. And I have not been eating right. I have also been staying up late.
It is time for me to take a step back and to take stock of what I have and haven't been doing. So as hard as it is, I am going to wrap up here and spend the rest of my afternoon taking care of my self.
I leave you with two questions that ACA asked in its article:
1) When I examine my wellness needs, what area do I want to begin with today?
2) What area is being most taxed today?
And I will add one more:
3) What can I do/or not do right now that will help me with the above need?
Take care of yourselves fellow counselors.educators, and friends!