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February Newsletter: The Month of Love

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February Newsletter: The Month of Love

Feb 5, 2024
Feb Newsletter

Hearts, candy, flowers. We buy, give, and receive all these things this month. For Valentine’s Day, we tell those around us how much we love and appreciate them. How often do we tell ourselves how much we love and appreciate all the fantastic things we do? The work we do can be tiring, challenging, and lonely. Many prevention professionals are working in areas where they are one of very few doing this work. So, how do we remind ourselves of the great things we do and experience the love and care we so often give to others?

I can hear it now…but I don’t have time, I’m not as far along as that person, or I am so far behind in my work! Those of us in the helping professions teach others about self-care, but we forget our own lessons. So, how can we take care of ourselves without forsaking others?

One of the best ways to take care of ourselves is to find a balance. When we say work-life balance, we don’t mean to do the exact same number of hours of work that we do outside of work. Think of time in three buckets: Work, basic living, and things that bring us life. What are all of the things that we must do to work? Think about travel, work, and other miscellaneous activities. That is the first bucket. Next, think about the things you must do for basic living. We have eating, sleeping, cleaning, errands, personal care, and family obligations. That leaves the last bucket. The things that bring us life. What are things we can put in this bucket? I think this is where we sometimes get caught up. Must it be the same things everyone else does? Do we have to include massages and exercise? Do we have to take up a new hobby? No, you do what makes your life worth living. 

There are eight dimensions of wellness (physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, vocational, financial, and environmental) and we should work on each to have a balanced life. However, what that looks like for everyone can and should be different. We are all different, special, and unique; our lives should reflect that. For some, doing work in the social dimension might be hanging out with friends. For others, it may mean interacting with others online. For some of us, doing work in the financial dimension could include getting a second job, while for others, it could include exploring ways to do more with less. We should not compare our choices with others regarding the things that bring us life.

One last thing about having a balanced life. Remember that we can ask for help. What are things others can do to help us with those basic living tasks? Asking for help may seem selfish, but know that giving others the ability to help us is giving them a gift. Everyone likes to help others, and asking for help can be a way to provide those around us with a way to give to others, the same way we have done so many times.

To learn more, click HERE for an article from SAMHSA.


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