Sometimes Laura*’s life felt a bit chaotic: she felt very easily distracted, jumping from one thing to the next, never getting any time for a breather.
She could see that something needed to change but she just didn’t have the time to make it happen.
When we had our first session I explained that the feelings she was having were signs of dysregulation. Her thoughts and feelings were getting disrupted, making it difficult to manage life, particularly when something felt difficult.
We talked about how she could regulate herself in really easy ways that would help her without overwhelming her.
I explained that regulation is the same as self-care. It's true meaning is the ability to tune into your needs and soothe them appropriately
We talked about:
What Laura’s needs were, and
Why she believed she couldn’t meet them
I challenged her to see if her beliefs were true or assumptions she was making
We explored the possibilities she had for meeting her needs, working at putting in place tiny changes to avoid overwhelm
We worked out that when Laura’s feeling pretty balanced and just needs to maintain things, self-care for her looks like:
Taking the dog out for a walk
Snacking on something healthy (rather than a sugar bomb) mid afternoon
Organising her diary so that she has time for deep thinking work
Going to the gym
If she’s feeling overwhelmed, it'll look more like this:
Going to bed by 9pm (she's naturally tired around 9:30 pm so riding this wave means she'll get a better night’s sleep)
Sitting down in the middle of the day with a hot drink for 15 minutes and doing nothing else
Having a bar of her favourite chocolate whilst watching her favourite TV show
Giving herself permission for all of the above!
Laura’s feedback was that whilst she was still juggling a lot of responsibility, she felt more on top of it and less exhausted.
Having a way of tapping into what we REALLY need is vital for healthy functioning.
If we're drained then we've nothing to give to the people who rely upon us.
Until next time!
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* Laura is a hypothetical client of mine. As it wouldn’t be ethical to share details of my actual clients, Laura represents my typical client. You can find more examples of how she feels by following Crabtree Therapy on Instagram