So what does it really mean if you chose to take time away from your everyday routine?
Are you actually doing this to take care of yourself or is it because you are running away from something?
Those two questions were ones that I had to seriously consider before making the decision to take time off. Actually I felt completely drained before I even tried to answer those questions. My body made the decision for me.
The beginning of leave has been a blur. All the things that I thought I would spend my time doing have been left to these items that only seemed to happen if I magically found a few extra minutes. Some people in my life seem to think that this is “play” time. It certainly has not been that and I do not intend it to be. This is a time to shed years of absorbing other people’s pain and hurts (as one does as a counsellor) .
I was always pretty good at taking care of myself and have gotten much better over the years however I also knew that the industry that I have been in for the past 8 years was not the one that I would spend the rest of my life in. Not in a full-time capacity anyway. It is difficult to explain this to some people as we lovely humans tend to box people in to what and how we see them. So if someone has only known you in one capacity they have a hard time see you in any other light. Not that this is necessarily bad, or good. It just is.
As I embark on the time to heal, shed draining energies and decide what is next, I find it difficult to soak in others opinions. I also find it incredibly frustrating that when you tell someone that you are off work due to stress because you have very little room in your heart for compassion and they start in on their dramas and unhappiness . They figure “oh, you’re a bit emotional, well let me tell you about my stuff b/c it’s so much more than yours” or they figure that I’ll be able to support them b/c I have all this free time.
Note to whomever may read this. If a person (friend, colleague or complete stranger) tells you that they have had too much stress of varying kinds then the LAST thing they want is to hear about your stuff. They are simply telling you that they need extra support. Talking about the weather, or even not at all, is okay.
I ramble about this as I have had an interesting mix of reactions and support from people about taking stress leave. So not only am I trying to feel things out and sort out my internal stuff but I also have to figure out how to gently tell someone else to kindly leave me be. Opinions will be accepted IF asked for.
Hhhmmm, I guess this frustration has been building for a bit….interesting. Well, I think the new year will be a great fresh start to decide exactly what kind of life I deserve, need and/or want. I have a pretty good idea and so it will be about finding the steps to make it happen.
Sometimes the permission to be a mess is all one needs. Sometimes a person needs a good cry, a loud yell, a great trip or a week to themselves. If it isn’t doing any harm then go for it.
I owe it to myself to take space and not fill every free moment with something just because i happen to have the time. This next month or two is going to be spent in meditation, yoga, running, counselling, goal setting and perhaps reading. I think that is a good start 🙂
- The Benefits of Meditation (painfighter.wordpress.com)
- The “best” meditation is what works for you! by Karah Pino, MAcOM (karahpino.me)
- Meditation: Change your brain, change your life (spiritualconnectedness.wordpress.com)