Are you a professional helper? Teachers, nurses, parents, counselors, customer service reps, physicians, OTs, PTs, care givers, fitness instructors, you know: all of you who HELP OTHERS for a living? I am reaching out to YOU!
This month of #febYOUary is ALL ABOUT YOU. And that’s TOTALLY OK! You CAN think about yourself. You CAN help yourself. You CAN treat yourself. You CAN love yourself.
I understand the helping profession. As a Wellness Coach, teacher, and fitness instructor, my focus is on helping others [seemingly] every minute of every day. I totally get the strength it takes to constantly focus on others. Don’t get me wrong– I LOVE WHAT I DO. But I also understand how exhausting it can be-physically, emotionally, and mentally.
We do what we do because we are helpers at heart. We love helping others succeed. Whether it be watching proudly as your child takes first steps, teaching students how to divide fractions or watch as they fall in love with reading, teaching people to walk after an accident, helping to care for ones who are sick, being an objective and sympathetic ear, helping people to sort through personal struggles, solving problems for those who cannot do it themselves. All of these people we help, some of who are complete strangers from the start, we do because we LOVE it. We love making a difference in others’ lives.
But all of this care, the help, the love, the ENERGY that goes into others takes a toll on us- on YOU. The stress creeps its way into our bodies, our minds. Often, we lose the drive to take care of ourselves. We spend so much time taking care of others that it becomes more than a profession, it becomes WHO WE ARE.
The question is: if we are so awesome at caring for other people, why do we sometimes completely SUCK at taking care of US? Where’s the drive, the passion, the NEED to make ourselves a priority in our OWN LIVES?
The reason we sometimes neglect ourselves, whether intentionally or not, is complicated and different for every person. BUT… the RESULT is the same: a decline in health. Physical health. Mental health. Emotional health. Spiritual health. It all suffers when we don’t take care of ourselves.
Because the majority of our energy goes towards others, on our “downtime” (note the use of air quotes here), we convince ourselves that we deserve a treat. And guess what? WE DO! We deserve every single good thing that we can do for ourselves. NEVER doubt that!
Are you nodding your head? GOOD! Because it’s true.
So humor me here. Stop reading for a second and think about some of the things you treat yourself with.
If you’re like most of us, treats may include things such as a nice dinner out complete with appetizer, entree and a yummy dessert, maybe a little wine! Perhaps your idea of a treat is a day of doing nothing but laying on the couch watching TV or reading, not having to take care of anyone! Maybe your treat is shopping, baking, going out to clubs or bars with friends. Whatever it may be, this treat makes you feel amazing! It’s a reward for working so damn hard at taking care of others all.the.time. And guess what? WE DESERVE IT! Yes, we do! Treats are GOOD THINGS!
NEVER feel guilty for a treat. You deserve them!
Let’s define “treat.” The dictionary says it’s an event or item that is out of the ordinary and gives great pleasure. BOOM. Love it, right?!
Yes. BUT. (There’s always a but, right?).
When do these treats become tricks? When does the wonderful act of treating ourselves become the awful act of hurting ourselves?
I’ll tell you. It’s when the occasional indiscretions become habitual activities. Instead of helping our lives be more enjoyable, we end up hindering our life and making it harder.
When the fun dinner out becomes bringing food in. When dessert on special occasions becomes buying junk food during regular grocery trips. When indulging in food only sometimes becomes mindless eating in front of the TV. When the fun, lazy day at home becomes a chronic pattern of un-productivity. When a fun day f shopping with friends or the independence of shopping alone become a desperate attempt to run away from life? To shop because our current clothes are too tight. To distract ourselves from the unsettling sense of despair caused by the awareness that something must be done to get ourselves BACK.
Everyone’s self neglect varies in intensity and frequency, but we ALL do it to some degree.
So, what is the answer?
Simple. HELP YOURSELF. Help yourself get back to treating yourself, not sabotaging yourself.
OK, not totally simple. BUT- I can HELP YOU!
Now, I know what you’re going to say. How can I help YOU? Won’t that cause me to neglect myself? NO! That’s NOT the point of what this post is about. The fact that we help others is NOT the cause of our neglecting ourselves. What happens is that you may lack a PLAN. You may lack the KNOWLEDGE of how to get back on track after a treat. You might even need MOTIVATION and ACCOUNTABILITY. All in all… YOU, the helper, need HELP. Unconditional help. I got you. This my PASSION: helping others help themselves! It drives me and it HELPS ME. What?
Yes! HELPING YOU HELPS ME! So, help me help you help me… what? Just go with it : )
Together, we chat to find out what exactly what your goals are and I get to know you a little better in order to customize my approach to helping you succeed!
Once we decide on a plan of action, you get to decide if you want me as your Coach. But be aware– once you commit, you’re stuck with me… forever : )
3. Go here and fill out this form so I know how to contact you!
Here’s a secret:
SUPPORT is what helped me succeed! Having a community of support to check in with daily with was the KEY for me when I was struggling with my fitness and health goals. There was always a sense of community, of someone being there…literally 24/7. This gave me a sense of confidence to know that I could count on others for support, inspiration, and accountability so that I didn’t quit. I felt a part of something. I did NOT feel alone. This was a key component to my success! I can’t wait to share this awesome sauce with YOU!