Self-Care to Live Your Best Life
[The following situation is real. Certain details have been changed to protect clients' anonymity.]
Trisha was unhappy. It was increasingly harder to recover her usual bouncy, happy self. When confronted by challenges - ranging from missing a project deadline to discovering her teenage son had put the empty ketchup bottle back in the fridge - challenges she had readily managed earlier - she often spiraled down with a flurry of negative thoughts feeling guilty and frustrated. Big or little disruptions to her daily routine left her pressured and drained.
Trisha tried to breakout of unhappiness with regular physical exercise. To move forward, she was willing to identify situations that seemed to trigger unhappiness. A pattern emerged that work was holding her back from living the life she wanted, and getting bogged down with non-essential tasks drained her energy. She wanted a recharge.
When she reflected on her coaching experience, Trisha came up with these insights:
- Resented tasks she did not choose.
Needed to listen to her feelings, instead of papering them over with "why me" questions. She discovered her unhappiness was related to latent anger.
- Needed time for solitude and reflection. She understood that this form of self-care could be uplifting and was not selfish.
Trisha had taken important steps prior to coaching. She realized that she was becoming increasingly unhappy, and consequently had taken action to counter it with regular physical exercise. But this wasn't enough. She committed to listening to feelings as they arose. She began to catch negative thoughts and counter them before spiraling downwards. At work she negotiated with her supervisor to have more flexibility for assignments. With a more positive outlook Trisha renewed her self-confidence. As an unexpected benefit of her renewed self-care, she was able to be her best for her family as well as coworkers.