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...and more self care...

I have tried to find more and more ways to understand why things are the way they are for me.
I love my work, I adore my family and friends, but some days are just too much.
Why do some days seem more difficult than others when they can look so similar? One of the ways we have tried to communicate in our family and what I have seen used in pain management is 1 to 10 scale.  For example, we would ask the kids how an event was and 1 meant it wasn't very good at all and 10 was great.  I now use that same tool to measure my compassion fatigue on a daily basis.
1-3 - feeling strong, saving the world - my voice is strong, I have the answers, walk is strong
3-6 - not feeling as strong and recognize I feel different than my best day, but getting through - maybe a little slumped at the shoulders, a little lazy about getting things done
6-10 - not feeling confident at all, not feeling effective with anything, overwhelming feelings - low back pain, strain in shoulders and neck, mild headache
 
Once I stop to be aware of the above, I can usually forgive myself that moment, if it is not a good one, accept it, and realize I can change it.  I might need a break from my work, even though I think I cannot afford it.  I might need to eat something or I might need to call it a day and change my scenery.  Some days we just need to recharge by visiting others doing different activities or even organizing our space to feel better.
For human service providers, family caregivers and others in any helping profession, we often turn to activities that still include helping others.  If this is your pattern, try to change it.  It really is so important to make yourself the priority.
Turn those acts of love and generosity toward yourself.  You are still saving the world.  You are your biggest part in this world, remember??

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