It’s the season for overwhelm! Finishing projects, getting things organised making sure everyone’s happy while trying to eat, sleep and breathe can be a challenge.
Especially if you’re an over-giver or people-pleaser. You’re going to sacrifice yourself first at the expense of your health and wellbeing. Self-care might seem like a crime when there's so much to do...
The problem is that the less functional you are, the lower your ability to help constructively. As a result, no one really benefits.
Burnout is extremely common among people in the helping professions, and while the research is still in its infancy, predictive factors are excessive workloads and poor relationships.
So what can you do?
Remember what they tell you on the plane?
Put your oxygen mask on first!
This is an excellent metaphor. A parent’s instinct might be to put the mask on their child, first. But the fact is that you might only have seconds at high altitude before you lose your ability to function…Then you’re no use to your child or yourself. See this video at NASA for what happens when you’re hypoxic.
A key point is that when you’re not taking care of yourself properly, your judgement is likely to be off AND you won’t even know it. So your decision-making is not so great, things can easily go into a tailspin and you won’t understand what happened or how to stop it.
It often takes someone else to point slow things down, a health crisis or a breakdown of some kind to stop the madness of the self-neglecting rescuer.
In the nineties, the healthcare industry realised that its rate of adverse incidents (patients dying unnecessarily) was unacceptably high. It turned to the aviation industry which had infinitesimally small incident rates for its level of activity compared to the healthcare industry. What was the key intervention? The simple checklist.
Before rushing to rescue or fix someone or something, take a moment and use this quick, time-tested checklist: are you Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired (HALT). Take care of these first. Even in a small way. Your brain, body, relatives and co-workers will ultimately thank you for it.
[See the video below for more on HALT below]
When I ask any of the doctors or service-driven professionals I work with about taking time out, they say it was uncomfortable to start putting their self-care first, but they’re glad they did. They start to see the positive impact on their lives and careers and a positive cycle of reinforcement can begin. But the an initial leap of faith is required first.
Of course, these are people who are highly conscientious and agreeable. Their modus operandi is to do things well and be helpful. So the solution isn’t for them to do more but to do less and do it with a clear mind and heart. This reconnects them to a quiet joy that ripples beyond themselves to benefit others in a profound way.
Remember: Your self-care is not a crime. It’s a responsibility - to yourself and others.
Have a great week,
Final 2018 webinars:
1. Better Communication, Better Christmas!
Communicate with greater clarity and empathy and give the gift of quality of attention and connection for Christmas.
In this 60 minute live webinar we’ll cover:
The Non-Violent Communication Framework and responding creatively
Empathy guesses and boundaries that create more connection
Listening with your body to prevent rather than fix
Practices to help you connect with people you haven’t seen in a while
Tools to help you stay Zen in the midst of chaos
There’ll be time for questions and you can learn from others being coached on real situations.
Date: 12/12/2018 (today!)
Time: 6pm UK / 1pm EST
Register here: http://eepurl.com/dOQ44H
2. “Goodbye 2018, Hello 2019: take action for your best year yet”
A busy end of year doesn’t have to be a mindless one! The best way to make 2019 your best year is to start now with clarifying your hierarchy of values, intentions and actions.
In this 60 minute webinar we will:
Review 2018, learn and say goodbye to what didn’t work
Lay down tracks to start taking action and fly as the new year starts
Use an alternative to traditional goal-setting (more scientific, more inspiring and more motivating) to make it easier to stick to your goals!
Taking some time to pause and reflect with some guidance this end of year will reverberate positively over the whole of 2019.
This is also a small group webinar with plenty of time for discussion and questions.
Time: 6pm UK / 1pm EST
Sign up: http://eepurl.com/dP10an