Taking Care Of Self When You Take Care Of Others

I saw this really interesting meal on Guy Fieri’s Diner, Drive-in’s and Dives on the Food Network so I had to make it and 1.1/2 hours later just after 9pm we were eating a stuffed spaghetti squash that tasted really good.  It took a long time and was a lot of work but well worth it.  Food is can be so southing, a creative form of expression and I find cooking is a great way to unwind after work.  What do you do so help release a busy day?

Today I had both good news and not so good news at work.  I found out that one of our recent graduates from the treatment program relapsed and lost his housing.  That kind of news is not surprising but always disappointing because we do our best to help our clients be successful.  This is a reality of this work that I have done for many years but it still makes me feel sad.

The good news is that one of our grads called to say he is doing well and now has 15 months of sobriety.  He has work and his family is doing well.  Another recent graduate of our program has been coming to groups to help her keep her recovery going strong.  Both of these grads doing well feels much better and makes the work more rewarding.

These ups and downs are part of working in addictions, mental health and any other human service type work.  Sometimes this emotional rollercoaster takes more of an inner toll than we may notice.  If you do this kind of work, you know what I am talking about, yet this work has to be done so we do it.

Cooking is one of my outlets to offset the ups and downs.  I also work out daily and spend quiet time usually in the form of an evening walk which I will do after I complete this first draft.  Also an important reminder for me is the model in Tuesday post.  This model shows that in the realm of my mind, I must keep present and positive.   If I don’t, I can get very weighted down by the challenges of this work. 

I’m taking a four-day weekend coming up just because I can feel I need the extra few days for self-care.  Time off to relax and renew is very important.

How do you care for yourself when you feel the weight of what you are doing?