Today, my day went something like this:
‘Alarm clock, rush, rush, traffic jam, work, work, work, and more work, traffic jam, work, work, work, drive, drive, home, more work to do.’ Sound familiar? The day was so busy that I just wanted to shout, “Stop! Just stop and take a break!”
I know, I know. That is just how your day went too, right? Take a minute with me, close your eyes and take a deep breath. Any better yet?
Life can be so chaotic, so busy, and so full of activity that we often forget how important it is to take care of ourselves. We get so caught up with all of the things that we have to do that we don’t even notice how unbalanced our lives have become. Our society is so fast paced that it is hard for many people to catch their breaths – me included. It is at this time that I stop to reflect on some wise words I have recently read:
“Care must be taken not to be driven in one’s career to the extent that everything else loses value and accordingly does not receive the attention it should.” – Dr. Robert Wicks, in The Resilient Clinician.
I received Dr. Wicks’ book as a gift from the Loyola University Pastoral Counseling Department during a free ‘self-care’ workshop. One of my fellow blog writers has put together an excellent post describing the events of the day. Many thanks JoAnn! To read about our day of self-care, click here.
The Resilient Clinician offers helping professionals practical advice for avoiding burnout through working to maintain balance. Although the text is designed for those working in the mental health profession, the words of wisdom contained in the book are useful for anyone who (like me) is feeling a bit overwhelmed by the pressures life has to offer. Dr. Wicks goes in depth into many different topics from recognizing signs of burn out to developing strategies for self-care. I highly recommend reading the text whether you are a clinician or are simply feeling the physical and psychological effects of stress.
In Appendix E, Dr. Wicks challenges the reader to check balance in the following areas:
- Stimulation and quiet
- Reflection and action
- Work and leisure
- Self-care and care of others
- Self-improvement and patience
- Future aspirations and present positive realities
- Involvement and detachment
Today, I am going to just pick one off the list. I’ll start with number 1 simply because I am too tired to be all that original at the moment. I have had plenty of stimulation today. When I leave all of you, I am going to take 15 minutes of silence and just listen to the quiet.
Why don’t you join me? Your brain will thank you for it.