As a counselor, it’s sort of my job to look at the glass as half full and to help others do that as well. I’ll admit, sometimes this is very difficult. I have my own life too, and sometimes, I need to be reminded to look at bright side too. For me, as I’ve said in previous blogs, it’s the little things that are my therapy. Coffee is an especially important one for me.
But this brings up something that I do all the time to get through the crappy times that I think a lot of people need. That would be self-care. When I was getting my master’s degree in counseling, there was always a heavy emphasis on self-care.
The nature of a counselor’s job is to help people unburden their worries, fears, horrors, and depression, among many other things. That weighs on you. You are essentially the keeper of all of your client’s secrets and that can feel very heavy after a while. So, my professors always talked about the importance of caring for ourselves to help this and ultimately prevent burnout. The more people I talk to, the more I see that this is very much so lacking in many people’s lives.
The biggest thing for me, and many people know this about me, is going to the movies. I love everything about the theater. I love everything from the artificial butter on the popcorn, to the sticky parts of the theater floor. That feeling of lounging in the chairs, putting my feet up (as long as there is no one in front of me), and getting immersed in a world that is entirely not my own. Listening and seeing someone’s story unfold and I don’t have to think about anything but what’s going on up on the big screen.
That feeling of getting lost for a few hours is what I need to make it through. It helps my batteries recharge. It helps wind me down and clear my head. There’s really something to be said about being able to turn your brain off for a little bit. Maybe that’s the key to self-care? I don’t know. What I do know is that it’s vital for counselors to self-care, but take a page out of our book!
When was the last time that you did something that was completely for yourself?