Monday, November 14, 2011

Balance


I am writing this post as I sit in my office pretending to be busy. I know, I know. I shouldn’t be pretending to be busy at this point in the semester and at this point in my career. However, rest assured it happens. Within the past two weeks I have finished up two reports (neither of which I get to present in a meeting) and my counseling cases are well underway. I have already mentioned that I would like additional evaluations to work on, so the ball is not so much in my hands right now. I’ve put it out there that I want more, so what’s a girl to do? I figure I should be counting my blessings that with the end of the semester drawing closer, my commitments to my placement are much less than some of my cohort. So…that’s exactly what I am going to do.

Balance. I grew up as a gymnast and it was my ‘dream’ to be Dominique Mouceanu. I was going to the Olympics. I even applied to be on the game show Figure it Out as an ‘expert gymnast’ listed as my hidden talent. Alas, I had trouble recognizing the fact that being able to do a mere cartwheel or round-off qualified one as an ‘expert gymnast.’ Balance on the beam was a strong suit, even though I hated that event. As I have gotten older, my physical balance has its moments of going on vacation. I tend to be quite klutzy given my lanky stature. Overall, my physical balance is not what holds me back. Instead it is the mental balancing act I perform on a daily basis.

I have the hardest time juggling many of the responsibilities I have. That’s why I am attempting to soak it all in while I have the chance (without appearing bored or lost, that is). Allowing myself to breathe is a tough one and I’m sure many other mental health professionals and graduate students feel similarly. I really do try and find times to practice self-care, but man is it hard to do. How effective can it be if you have to schedule it in to your planner? In my practicum seminar we have been keeping a record of pleasant events in order to boost our sense of positive energy and mindfulness. I have a hard time with this and often forget to even fill the chart out let alone do any activities! My self-care used to be blogging and cooking, but over the past year its become increasingly more difficult. I really do need clones in order to do what I’d like to do. For example, I have plenty of homework and catching up to do tonight (stuff I avoided all weekend) but I am going try and attend a professional development training at my practicum this evening. In a nutshell this means going home after ‘school’ and then coming right back here within an hour of getting home. What are the chances of me not melting into my bed? Who wants in on the pool?

While this post was an attempt to look busy, I have taken a few minutes out of my day to be more mindful of my own needs. I didn’t know what I was going to write when I sat down. Someone this post developed and it reminded me to take more time out for myself. I need to start cooking/baking/blogging more frequently. It allows me to take a few moments/hours out of my day and do something to reflect on all the goings-on in my life. So I propose: a November resolution. I will do one of the following on a weekly basis (1) write a blog post or (2) cook/bake something delicious. Rather than set myself up for failure I will set a more realistic goal of one item per week. In true school psychologist fashion, I will be able to graph my progress based on blog posts/meals devoured. I may also decide to throw a rating scale in just for fun ;).

Here’s to success!

Until next thyme,
Erika

Post-script: I finally had something to do (a counseling session) and the student wanted nothing to do with me or our time together (he also doesn’t need to be there but that’s another story). It was like pulling teeth to make conversation. To top that off, he had an audience of my supervisor on one side of the bookcase wall and the third year intern on the other. Couldn’t they at least have listened in on a decent session with a kid who needs me??? Oh the joys of having a ‘psychology suite.’

Post-post-script: I am not/did not attend my professional development tonight. Who won the pool? I did however buy some adorable cupcake liners. Motivation to bake? I think so ;)

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