Greetings from Michigan! This was a much needed self care weekend. I spent it swimming in lakes and climbing sand dunes with family. Although I feel refreshed, that doesn’t mean that I am not experiencing the Sunday Night Blues.
Working with people on a therapeutic level is sometimes draining. It is such a deep, personal level, and it’s typical to experience second-hand trauma with the population I work with. Even though we are taught methods of not letting other people’s experiences affect us, it is sometimes hard to accept that we are not immune to feeling for the stories we hear.
I love the work that I do, and because of that it’s hard for me to notice when I need a break. When I began to realize how drained I felt and how unfocused I was with work, I welcomed the opportunity to escape to Michigan for a few days. I ignored work related calls and text messages and tried to focus on the moments I was having with people I love.
This trip has motivated me to take better care of myself, physically and mentally. Going to the gym more frequently is going to become a priority, and taking more “Mental Health Days” from work is an idea that I have opened up to. It’s hard for me to remember that taking time off doesn’t mean I’m an unmotivated employee, it means I am taking responsibility by taking care of myself before I attempt to “take care” of others.
So tonight I’m pouring myself a cold glass of wine and preparing for tomorrow’s 15 hour trip back to Philadelphia (and hoping that I get to sleep through most of it)!