This post is a continuation of the previous post List? What List? I wanted to give readers a chance to think about their list, their place on it or why they aren’t on it at all. Hopefully, you have ideas and answers. If not, at least something to ponder.
When working with clients on this issue, two concerns come to the forefront and can be major stumbling blocks when working on achieving this goal. One is prioritizing time for themselves and teaching the others who are on their list to respect the new craved out space for yourself. Both can be equally difficult in the beginning, but equally rewarding to all involved in the long run.
How does one find the time to be in that #1 spot? Finding the time maybe easier than one might think once we decide to develope this habit. I encourage clients to find 15 minutes a day every day to begin. It doesn’t matter which part of the day it is, it is unique to everyone and their living situation . What you do with this personal time is all up to you. When in doubt on how to get this personal time, I will suggest to clients lock themselves in their bathroom or bedroom, set a timer and ignore the outside world. Read a book, take a bubble bath, crank the radio, go for a drive/walk, whatever works for you. Once you are comfortable with the 15 minutes of you time, slowly build it up to an hour. You’ll be amazed how much better you will feel about both yourself and everything else in the world. Plus those in your life will have a better appreciation as well.
i look forward to hearing how this is working for you. What you are doing. What are some of the struggles for you.
One thing I discovered while working in the psych hospital, is the importance of our list and where we are on this list. This list that I’m talking about is the list all of us have ranking the importance of those in our lives, hopefully including ourselves.
This topic comes up a lot in my current work as a rehab counselor and was recently revisited with a handful of clients over the last few months, especially in the last week . I felt it was a perfect topic for the blog, more so than the topic that I was writing. Especially with summer upon us, it is a great time to start practicing this and make it a habit.
So, do you know where you are on your list? The top 5? Top 10? On your list at all? It’s been my observation over the past 15 yrs working in Social Services that most people aren’t in their top 5 much less the top 10. I’ve even meet many people who aren’t on their list at all. How sad is that? But hope is not lost, we can redo our list and put us on the list.
The other question that I ask people those who have themselves on their list, where are you on your list? Many people respond either with themselves at the bottom of the list or near the bottom of their list. Which also isn’t healthy.
People are often surprised when I encourage them to put themselves at #1 on their list. A common response is, “I can’t do that, I have responsibilities. I have kids, husband, work, church…….” I will often encourage clients to think about their feelings of exhaustion, being overwhelmed and resenting those who rank above them on their list & why they feel that way. The answer always comes down to not putting themselves first on their list.
So, I ask you, where are you on your list? If not, why?