April is Self-Care Awareness Month at MusicTherapyEd.com!
There are many articles, websites, and blog posts that talk about the importance of having a work/life balance. Balance is defined as keeping or putting something in a steady position so that it does not fall. But how does that really feel? If you are struggling for balance, do you ever feel truly grounded? There is always a little voice in the back of your mind that says, “Well, you’re going to struggle for balance again!”
So I challenge you to think instead of a WORK/LIFE FIT.
Cali Williams-Yost encourages all individuals to strive for this fit. It means that all of the puzzle pieces of your life – career, family, friends, health, spirituality – fit together in a way that works for you right now. It is important to know that there is not a ‘one-size fits all’ method here – it is an ever-changing, ever-evolving fit for YOU.
What does it feel like to have a FIT? Everything feels much more grounded, more secure, more straight-forward, more satisfied. If you are struggling for balance all the time, you truly never feel grounded and secure.
I encourage you and challenge you to the following suggestions. You may not be able to implement all of them, but implementing even one of these will send you on your way to having a FIT life.
Learn to say NO more often.
This goes against the intuition and nature of a healthcare professional. You are asked to present, you are asked to serve, you are asked to perform, you are asked to attend, and you are asked to give advice. You want to help as many people as you can, because you LOVE what you do and you are passionate about your field. You are most likely a YES person. But there has to be a cut-off somewhere.
Fit Point: You can do anything, but not EVERYTHING.
Take care of yourself first.
Yup, put yourself first. Does that maybe feel a little selfish? Probably. But it shouldn’t. There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking time for yourself. It is the most UN-selfish thing you can do. When taking time for yourself, do you feel refreshed and nourished? Absolutely.
Ask for help.
Do you ever feel like you can do it all? You don’t have to! Stop being stubborn! Ask for help more often. Hire someone. If you need someone to wash your windows because you keep putting it off, then hire a window washer. If you need someone to help schedule your private clients, take messages, and do admin work, then hire a virtual assistant.
Fit Point: There is always someone there to help. Just ask.
Have a screen-free day. No email, no work tasks, no social media, no Angry Birds or Words with Friends. If you can’t do an entire day, do a shorter amount of time. Do something that doesn’t involve screens. Take a hike. Play a board game. Read a book. Go to a bookstore. Go for a walk on the beach. Play blocks with your toddler. Cook a great meal. Go to a museum. Go play. Make music for yourself.
Fit Point: By unconnecting from our screens, we re-connect in other ways.
Now your action steps! Find three small ways that will help your life feel a little more fit and grounded, and add them to your Self-Care Map. They don’t have to be huge steps, but every little bit helps!
Be well, feel good, and keep rockin’ music therapy,
Julie A. Palmieri, MM, MT-BC
PS – iPad: There’s an App for That with Bonnie Hayhurst, MT-BC is retiring! April 30, 2014 is your last day to enroll!
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