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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Do any of the following sound familiar to you?

• Skipping breakfast to get to work on time (after oversleeping because so tired)
• Skipping lunch (too much to do, have to help that one client who needs extra help)
• Getting home, very hungry, and thus overeating after not having breakfast or lunch
• Spending a bit of extra time with that bottle of wine (or two or three…)
• Needing extra cigarettes to get through the stressful day
• Not going pee because you’re too busy seeing/talking to clients
• Not taking breaks
• Dreaming about work
• Talking about work a lot
• Difficulty relaxing in the evening
• Taking work home

If you answered yes to….well…any of these, then it might be helpful to take a look at your work/life balance. (Okay. I’m one to talk: I recently gave a patient my cell number and spent time on the phone with her outside regular work hours and I rarely take lunch.) It can be hard to strike a balance between life and work when your primary function is to take care of other people and often even put their needs before your own. This can be especially challenging when we work in a sometimes hostile environment (say, external hostility from protesters), and it can be super hard to explain our jobs to people in our lives. “How was your day?” is such a benign question, but I often ask myself, “Seriously? You really want to open THAT can of worms and know how my day REALLY was?”

Maybe you feel similarly from time to time. Here are some things that have helped me, and things I know that have helped others, too:

• Eat breakfast. Seriously. It really does help!
• Drink coffee!
• Take your breaks and your lunches, even if it seems impossible to do so. Take them.
• Have interests and hobbies outside work and indulge in them. Write, read, hike, run, go to the gym, play music, spend time with your friends, your children.
• Have something at home, after work, that is really important to you to focus on that is completely non-work related (I think this is easier for parents, as often their children can be the distraction).
• Spend personal time doing non-abortiony things! Really!
• Have friends from Abortionland so they can understand you.
• Have friends outside Abortionland so you don’t have to talk about Abortionland all the time.
• Shop.
• Go on holiday.
• Go to movies.
• Take a day off. And do something fun.
• Get rest.
• And sometimes, indulge in a few bottles of wine, or a few margaritas with your Abortionland friends.
• Cry.
• Take long baths.

Basically, just remember you, when you’re in the middle of remembering everyone else. Nurture yourself. Personally, I'd like to be right here. Any other suggestions?


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