Walking The Line Between Healer/Therapist and Human|Haley Broadaway
A Blog By Haley Broadaway, A Weight-Inclusive/Fat-Identifying Therapist
Sometimes, as a therapist, it's difficult to remember that I am a human. As a human, I have needs that need fulfillment to thrive. I educate my clients on self-care, but I always throw in the caveat, "Easier said than done..." because it's true. It's easy to talk about self-care but not very easy to implement and practice routinely. Various factors get in the way of self-care maintenance as a person (and as a therapist), but I must make time for myself and my sanity.
Self-care doesn't have to be a grand, expensive gesture. It can be as simple as sitting down to have a reflective check-in with yourself.
"I am feeling overwhelmed; let me take a moment to practice emotion regulation skills..."
"What do I need at this moment, and how can I fulfill this need on my own?"
"You are a human who gets to be taken care of while also being a human that professionally makes emotional space for others."
Being a therapist doesn't make me immune to stress or conflict; if anything, it has made me hyper-aware of my experiences and feelings. Self-identification is only half the battle. I have to "walk the walk" if I am going to "talk the talk."
Taking the small steps toward routine self-care made more significant acts of self-care more obtainable. The small check-ins, creating moments of stillness, petting my dogs for an extended amount of time, having a cup of tea, and enjoying an occasional recreational shower/bath helped pave the way for accepting something more significant in my life. Finding acceptance and embracing extraordinary occasions takes effort, and part of the effort is understanding that perfection is not sustainable. Intentional self-care should include regular emotional maintenance while also allowing for the acceptance of imperfections (internally and externally.)
How do you include compassion towards personal imperfections?