Oh, my, what a morning! I decided that this week I was going to keep these three vacation days I had taken to recuperate from the dentist...even though my appointment was cancelled. I'll just take a few more days in December. It's my ttime, and believe me, I have more than earned it. Talk about a workaholic. That's me. Last week when my appointment was cancelled, I cancelled my vacation days and went to work. Not this time. No-sir-ee!!! Time to take care of me. We counselors have one of the highest rates of burnout...and I can feel it coming on...and it's not that I don't have the time. But, ask me if I took the day to rest! Ha!!! What? Me rest? I can always find something to do.
So, here I am setting up my tree and getting the shelves ready for my village which in 11 years of adding a few peices each year, has almost reached the unmanageable stage....add to that the fact that books have to be packed away to make room for it...and you are looking at a major project. Not only do I have to box them and put them in the closet, but I also have to sort through them because there are some books I just KNOW I am going to need...so the sorting can take me hours. Ah, decisions, decisions, decisions. And it never fails, no matter how much time I take in deciding which book stays and which goes, there will come a time during the holiday season that I am going to want one of the ones that I packed away.
But you have to love the season. The part I love the most is family getting together...and I think that is why it was so important for me to get the decorations up before Thanksgiving. My youngest son, who has just been diagnosed with heart problems and hasn't been here for the holidays in four years so this year has to be special. And lately, I have becoming somewhat melancholy during the holidays....I have been missing my family.
But, Christmas, family, the holidays....that's not exactly what I had in mind today. Actually, having these days off work has made me realize that I need more balance in my life. Most of us do have occasional problems creating a life of balance in which we are nourished by our activities, not depleted. I realized today that I have fogotten how to take care of me. All this work could have waited; I still have 3 more days off after this...so why am I pushing myself beyond the brink to complete it all today. I have worked so hard for so long that I don't know how to slow myself down, and I know it is time to work on that. Burnout doesn't only happen on the job; it can happen at home, too. So, before I go to bed tonight I plan on completing this little exercise I give to my clients. This fun little activity is designed to help you pinpoint those moments where your life gives you energy and where it takes more than you get back.
Draw a large circle and slice it like a pie into 8 or more wedges...depending on how many aspects of your life you want to look at.
Label each of these wedges with an aspect of your life--family, health, friends, money, work, creativity, fun, personal growth, spiritual interests, etc.
Color in each wedge from the center point outward, approximating how much fulfillment you find in each life area. Your wheel may now look more like a small circle; this is telling you that there is room to expand in all directions. Or...you may be seeing and oval shape or a flat tire meaning some aspects of your life are out of balance.
Now choose one are that needs bolstering or that simply draws you to it. Write down strategies that will help you to become more fulfilled in that area of your life.