It has been a while since I posted on the blog. I cannot believe how much time has passed and how interesting it is talking to people about the subject of Compassion Fatigue and Vicarious Trauma.
Those who work in human services certainly get it. It appears we have to continue to talk about what tools we need. I have a dear friend say , who works in childcare, "If one more person tells me to take a _____ bath, I am going to scream!!"
I began to realize I have heard that, and probably said it, many times. What each of us might need, to find some peace and calm in our lives, is very different. The hard part is not turning the tap on the tub, it is really focusing on shutting our minds down, and believing we even deserve the time to draw a bath for ourselves.
Identifying the activities we might like to have in our lives is not the issue. Yes, it can be as simple as a bath, or yoga or meditation or, yes, I am going to say it, exercise. Movement and stillness. We know we need some movement to keep the blood flowing and our bodies working for us. We know we need the stillness to quiet our mind so we can find out who is doing all the yakking and shut em down!!! We call them the girls. The voice that tell us we are not good enough. There is also the voice that carries the eternal list of things not done and the checklist of guilt to go with it.
Back to what I refer to as the mind shift. I will not be able to find the time for what is important for me until I decide that I am important to me. It can look selfish and self indulgent to actually carve out some time and space for ourselves. That is not our nature as caregivers. Then there is the resentment. The blaming of the world as to why we are exhausted, sick, frustrated and overwhelmed. I have said in the past, I don't have five minutes to read the paper or do some stretching or make a healthy salad. Really? I don't have time? I think it may mean I don't matter enough. I have time and resources to do it for others. What up with that?
Once I really started to realize I have to carve out time for me, and not just take the leftovers of the day, I felt I had more control over everything. It's not a perfect balance all the time, but if I ask myself "if I get up early to make a healthy lunch, will it make me feel better?", I know the answer will be yes. I am going to ponder that, on my way through the drive thru!!