Day III of being ill. I don’t know about you, but I sometimes find it quite hard to switch off and let myself rest.
Just before Christmas, I found myself feeling burnt out. I was heading out to work everyday, spending the day there with a mixed caseload, and then as soon as I got home I was hitting the books. My logic behind this was: There’s so much Psychological literature out there, and I need to know it all.
Here’s an peek into that thought process:
‘What if I’m asked a question about a theory or an approach and I don’t know the answer?’ ‘How do I apply what I’m experiencing day-to-day and relate it back to the literature?’ ‘Theory, Practise, Link…Theory, Practise Link…’ ‘I wonder if I stare at this textbook long enough, I can absorb it’s contents…’ *googles* ‘How to absorb knowledge…’
By the end of this, I’m fed up and frustrated at myself. I’ll start to stress, and I’ll spend more time stressing than doing anything productive.
I recently mentioned that I had been looking into the prospect of studying an MSc or PhD, and consequently I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to be ready for that chapter in my life. What I wasn’t doing, was being kind to myself and understanding that the journey into becoming an Educational Psychologist is a long one. It doesn’t just happen overnight. To get to where we want to be, it’s important to work hard but it is just as important to look after ourselves.
In a profession where you are working to help others, it’s incredibly important for you to take a step back every now and then and look after your own emotional wellbeing.
That’s why I decided in 2019 to implement more time for Self-Care.
To me, Self-Care will consist of 5 elements.
A Gym Routine/Leisurely walks to reflect
Learning to cook healthier meals (cooking to music is always a fun pastime)
Reading FICTION (I recently bought a Kindle Paperwhite and I absolutely love it as it makes reading lots of books so much easier)
Headspace/Mindfullness (I have my app setup to remind me daily to check in)
Reading at least one self-development book a month. (I just finished Atomic Habits which details 4 incredible tips on behaviour change and how to maintain good habits and lose bad habits. I’ll link to it below!)
Life can feel like you’re always rushing from point A to point B. Since moving to London, I’ve noticed particularly in tube stations people will run to get on the tube. You’ll hear the beep, and people go full sprint to catch it… even though the next one is due in 2 minutes. What if we all took 2 minutes to take a step back and reflect on just how far we’ve all come. Let’s be kinder to ourselves.
Life’s a journey, not a race.