The Mighty has declared 2017 the year of self-care, which, considering the outcome of the presidential election and its bloody aftermath, is essential for everyone in our country right now. Many of us feel bruised, heartbroken, scared, and in need of some nurturing and love. I say let's give that much needed love to ourselves because the more we do that, the more we model to the world that LOVE does trump hate.
I began the quest for self-care on January 1, where I was challenged to journal daily, and because self-care is all about not beating yourself up for your imperfections, it's okay that I missed a day or two...or seven. In February, I accepted (with much reluctance) the task of filling a happiness jar with daily moments of happiness. I am proud to share with you that I not only filled it daily with thoughts and observations that embody my happiness, but I was able to get my kids and husband involved, despite some collective eye-rolling.
Now, it's March and The Mighty wants me to build my self confidence...something I desperately need right now.
My business is The Write Touch, which serves people of all ages with every type of writing project and writing need imaginable. I've edited pet recipe cook books, formatted PHd dissertations, helped authors pen memoirs, coached self-help gurus to write self-help books....However, the majority of my work is as a college counselor and essay writing coach and that work is very seasonal. I see somewhere around 30-35 students a week during my peak season, which is the fall. Now the rest of the year varies considerably. Like right now, I have a handful a week, and they vary from resume help to SAT prep to pre-college counseling. This actually works out well because, for the last 2 years, I've been working as a mental health counselor about 15-20 hours a week and finishing up some course work towards my license. During these "off season" months, I spend lots of time writing, reading, being with the kids more, which helps me prepare for the crazy fall.
However, February is the leanest month, client-wise, and so it follows that by the end of every February, my self-esteem catches a nasty virus.
Self-worth. Fear of failure. Money-anxiety. These are just some of the themes of the inner-dialogue that runs through my thoughts. In these panic moments, I equate my self-worth with how many clients I have, with how many people need me, with how much money I'm bringing in to my family. My fear of failure is so infectious, it literally makes my self-esteem sick.
This happens every year, and every year I get to the end of February feeling depleted... and speed dialing my therapist.
But this year, I was innoculated from the worst of the virus, and though I had a few sniffles and sneezing attacks here and there, thanks to The Mighty's Monthly challenges, I've survived this month. I even had a lot of wonderful moments...moments I was able to have because I have less work.
So, I encourage all of you to make this month and the rest of this year, your year of self-care, your year to spread the love to YOU because that's where it all begins, with yourself.