The Joys of Therapy

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Recently, I embarked on what I think will be one of the most important journeys of my life.  This journey was into the office of a Therapist.  While I am completing a doctorate in Counseling Psychology and really know the advantages of therapy, it took me a while to embark on this journey for myself.  Now that I am actively engaging my therapist I find the experience to be one of the missing ingredients in my life. 

As a woman in general I wear many hats.  As a single, professional woman I wear more hats.  As an oldest child and oldest grandchild I wear even more hats.  As a friend, fiancé, sister, aunt etc. etc. there are still more hats.  So where does a girl go to just lay it all out?  While many people may feel that pray will be the answer to this, that is true but therapy adds an additional layer that combined with prayer (for those of us who believe in a higher power) the boosts your mental, spiritual and emotional well-being. 

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I encourage all women to find a great therapist.  Check with your insurance, for instance my Employee Assistance Program offers 24/7 therapy by phone and also has some online therapeutic modules that you can complete in your own time as well.  Some churches have certified counselors on staff and many medical facilities can facilitate coordination of your mental and emotional health needs as well. 

Being in therapy has placed a mirror in front of a lot of things I knew but did not want to address.  It has allowed me to own my stuff and has also given me some tools to help work on the things that need to be addressed.  It has also allowed me to have an unbiased advocate who is just as concerned about my well-being as I am.  I encourage everyone to invest in yourself and find a good therapist. 

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ME Time

Last weeks blog mentioned the importance of me time.  Many of us get so wrapped up in what we have to do for others and career obligations that we neglect ourselves.  Life often gets in the way and before we know it we have placed our mos important possession on the back burner, ourselves.  What do you do to make time for yourself?  How often do you make time for yourself?  How do you honor your me time?

Making time for ourselves is an ultimate act of self love.  I would dare say that there should be some ME time built into each day.  If it is one a five minute walk around the block during lunch break or a hot candlelit bubble bath at the the end of a long day, maybe an hour of your favorite television program or an hour to read that book that you have been waiting to read.  Whatever the case may be ME time should be built into your everyday life.

Maybe asking for a daily dose of me time is a bit much to ask, but what about every other day or several days each week?  When you say you do not have time, think again and replay all of the commitments and obligations you may have and think of what can be delegated to someone else or what can be done at a later time.  Ask your spouse or a loved one to pick the kids up at school.  Instead of scheduling a lunch meeting reschedule the meeting for another day.  Get up an hour earlier than everyone else in your house and focus on yourself.  Make whatever necessary adjustments needed to create me time for yourself.  Put it on the calendar like all of your other appointments, schedule it in your smartphone.  Whatever you need to do schedule your me time today.

The reality is that failure to make time for ourselves makes us of little use to anyone else.  Not unplugging and recharging can lead to burnout, frustration and lack of productivity.  Know when to say no and know when to take a break.  Failure to make time for ourselves can also lead to physical harm to our bodies.  Loss of sleep, loss of appetite, the inability to focus on tasks can all be a result of needing more me time.  What are you going to do to make some time for yourself.

We demonstrate our love for others by what we do for them, caring for our parents and children, taking care of the duties and responsibilities we have on our jobs, but where and when do we demonstrate self love. Manicures and pedicures can help, but if we are hones we often get wrapped up in the conversations and sights and sounds around us at that time.  We may even use that time to check and respond to emails and voice mails and make our to-do lists.  So while we think we are getting in some me time, we are really just going over what needs to be done next.

When was the last time the focus was on YOU.  When was the last time you turned off the cell phone, refused to check your email or voice mail?  When was the last time you treated yourself to dinner and a movie, just you?  When was the last time you went for a walk just to clear your head and focus on nothing? When was the last time you had nothing on your mind and was not worried or thinking about what needed to be done or what had not been done?  

The bottom line is that it is necessary to make time for you.  This ultimately results in making you a better person, employee, wife, mother, friend, girlfriend or whatever label you may carry.  Me time can result in making you more efficient and more effective in what you do.  What are you going to do to make some me time today? What will your me time consist of?