How are you feeling? What emotion are you experiencing right now?
I don’t know if this is true for you, but the last year+ has been an intense rollercoaster of emotions and I’ve been leaning into what Susan David calls “emotional agility” skills to help me make it through.
When it comes to working with our emotions, one of the more helpful emotional agility skills we can learn is how to increase our “emotional granularity.”
Emotional granularity is the ability to distinguish and put our feelings into words, with a high degree of specificity and precision.
But most of us are anything but precise when it comes to labeling our emotions!
We typically describe how we feel in broad, non-specific words, like “stressed” or “blah.”
So, what’s wrong with that?
Emotions are information. They help us to figure out what we need.
Get the label wrong and we might miss out on an important message or the best next steps to take for ourselves.
But when we accurately and specifically identify our emotions, then we can more accurately determine what we truly need.
So, as Susan says, go beyond the obvious and identify exactly what you’re feeling.
Not to mention, the very act of labeling your emotions can help you self-regulate. You know: name it, to tame it.
Have you been feeling a whole lot of blah lately? This article about “languishing” is worth reading.
And if you’re interested here’s a short article with solid tips on how to build the important (and rarely taught!) skill of emotional granularity.
Born out of the early days of COVID, The Lab is a place where we experiment with new ideas, practices, and self-care to help us navigate the ongoing challenges of our work with animals and life in general.
If you’d like to join us in The Lab, we have an amazing library of webinars and workbooks on topics like boundaries, self-care, holding space, conflict, and so much more.
You can join The Lab anytime as a monthly member or annual member. On Thursday 5/20 you can join us for a live webinar called Compassionate Badassery Skills: Courage in the Heart.
We’ll be learning how to work with our emotions, because let’s face it: the work we do is all the feels, all the time!
Two weeks ago I was on vacation. It was my first week off since Christmas.
The longer I go without a vacation, the longer the vacation needs to be for me to benefit from it.
So this year I took two-ish weeks off.
The first week I was at home, working at about 15% of my normal load, taking care of things like doctor’s appointments and car repairs, with lots of time for Zoom calls with long distance friends.
I pumped the breaks on work, gradually stepping back over 5 days to help my nervous system and brain slow down and disconnect from screens.
The goal: to be fully present and enjoy the second week of vacation at a house in the woods with my family.
And not to get sick.
In the past, I’ve jammed on the breaks to take a week off.
And for years, I crashed. Hard.
Not only would I spend the first few days of my vacation tired AND wired, but by mid-week I almost always got sick. My body knew it was a “good” time to fall apart.
Years later, I know I need to pump the brakes ahead of time, so that I can enter my “real” vacation healthy enough to benefit from it.
Which I did earlier this month.
And I STILL slept 8 hours a night and took an hour long nap every afternoon. I had no idea I was so tired.
But I’m not surprised. 2020 has been one problem, heartache, emergency, and horror after another.
We are all tired.
And most of us aren’t taking enough time to rest (for lots of reasons).
We have a troubled relationship with vacation time in America. In 2018, 768 million US vacation days went unused.
That’s in a “normal” year. Who knows what it will look like in 2020?
Recently, I gave a webinar for a shelter and the staff shared privately that they felt like they were being judged (by leadership and peers) for wanting to take their designated breaks and vacation time.
They were trying to take care of themselves, but didn’t feel psychologically safe enough to do it.
That’s a good example of how individual self-care can only take root when it’s supported by workplace culture and policies.
I’ve also spoken to a number of shelter workers lately who feel that because they or their staff had a month off in March or April (due to COVID), they “shouldn’t” need a vacation now.
I disagree. Here’s why:
1. Being furloughed or laid off isn’t a vacation. It’s time off, but it’s unplanned, maybe even unpaid, and it was at the start of a traumatic global pandemic.
My husband was laid off for 7 months this past year (starting before COVID). And while I was definitely envious of his (partially) paid time off, I also knew that being involuntarily out of work was not a vacation for him, it was stressful.
Furloughs and layoffs = uncertainty = stress.
2. One break a year isn’t enough. March was 6 months ago. We’re due for another rest. Why do we (I’m looking at us Americans) think we only need one vacation a year? How has that been working for us so far?
Most EU countries are required to offer a minimum of 20 paid days off annually. That allows for multiple weeks off a year. America? We’re not required, federally, to offer even ONE paid day off a year. No wonder so many people can’t take time to rest. It’s a choice between vacation and paying rent.
Fortunately, many employers do offer some paid time off. But we’re not using it.
Why? Because we feel like it’s not safe – either because of our workplace culture or because our nervous systems are so jacked up on stress from working 51 weeks straight that trying to slow down is physically painful for us.
3. This year has not been business as usual. Wildfires, COVID, racial violence, a contentious election, and who knows what’s next (fingers crossed for an asteroid-free fall!)? When stress is this high, for this long, we need to double down on our rest.
People need to “come off the front lines” for regular, extended R&R, so they don’t burn out.
Even Mother Teresa understood this. Rumor has it she recommended that her nuns take an entire year off every 4-5 years to allow themselves to heal from the effects of their caregiving work.
Surely we can figure out a way to let our people take regular time to heal too? We cannot expect them to keep going like this without consequences. At a minimum we’re looking athigh turnover and a reduction in the quality of services being offered.
When I got back from vacation my energy was restored. Yes, it felt a little weird to take a vacation when the world is in crisis. But stepping back helps me to keep stepping up.
After vacation I’m excited about supporting others this fall because I’m operating from a surplus, instead of a deficit.
You know, we’re spreading more than just COVID right now. We’re spreading our emotions, our stress, our perspective on the world.
When you’re well-rested, it ripples out to positively impact every life you touch. So do it for yourself or do it for those you care for, but please: take a break.
Look, I know it’s complicated with small staffs and small budgets, not to mention layoffs looming, but I hope you’ll at least consider it.
Or talk with your people (or yourself!) about how it’s OK to take a vacation in a pandemic, even if they had time off in the spring.
And if you’re pushing your staff (or yourself!) to work even harder right now and they haven’t had a break in months, just beware.
ZOMBIES are coming.
Your work – your organization’s services – will benefit from having well-rested humans who can show up with energy and enthusiasm again.
It’s a win-win for everyone, including the animals.
If you’re a helping professional the following tips would apply on any typical day of high-stress, emotional work. But now, whether you’re working overtime or sidelined at home, it’s more important than ever to weave these simple practices into your day, so that you can be well during the COVID-19 crisis.
COVID-19 has brought a massive amount of change and
uncertainty into our lives. Lack of control and uncertainty can trigger fear,
which activates our stress response (fight/flight/freeze). This impacts our
wellbeing and our ability to do our work effectively.
Feeling stressed right now is normal! But being stuck in
stress does take a toll on our immune system, emotions, and relationships.
Simple self-regulation practices are one way we can reduce
stress. Self-regulation activates our parasympathetic nervous system, which
triggers the rest and restore response, helping us to feel safer, less
reactive, and more in control.
Here are a few ways to practice self-regulation:
Focused breathing, such as box or square breathing
Grounding in the present moment through your senses (orient yourself to the environment: what can you see, hear, smell, feel, and taste right now?)
Shake the stress out of your body (just like a dog!)
Go for a brisk walk or dance
Watch a funny video and laugh out loud
Sing or hum (activating your vagus nerve)
Cuddle your pets or hug a loved one (for at least 20 seconds)
Place your hands on your chest, over your heart, and say “I am safe”
Another option is to do something small that’s within your
control. Clean a junk drawer, weed your garden, or brush your dog. Give yourself
a quick win with a tangible outcome.
These practices may seem too simple to make an impact, but
the research is clear – our nervous system plays a critical role in our
resilience. Through simple self-regulation practices we can tend to our nervous
system and reduce our stress.
Try these short exercises multiple times throughout the day
and they’ll add up, helping you to feel calmer, think more clearly, and
communicate effectively during this challenging time.
Tip #2 Assume Nothing
When your stress response is triggered you may notice a change in your ability to communicate.
That’s because your “downstairs” brain (the emotional and primitive parts of your brain, such as your amygdala) are in charge of responding to (real or perceived) threats to your safety.
Your “upstairs” brain (the rational and logical part of your brain) goes “offline” during this time.
Your upstairs brain is what you need to problem solve, communicate, control your emotions, and access empathy. If you’ve ever done something you immediately regret, your downstairs brain was in charge.
That’s why communicating while stressed = increased misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and lots of problems to fix later on.
Here’s what you can do to improve communication and make life a little easier for yourself and others during this time:
1. Soothe your nervous system to help your “upstairs brain” come back online. Self-regulation always helps.
2. Do not take anything personally. Everyone is stressed and afraid right now. Whatever people say and do is a reflection of how they’re feeling. Never assume it’s about you, because it’s not.
3. Always check for understanding. When you speak, ask that the person listening repeat back to you what they heard, so you can check that they understood. When you’re listening, repeat back what you think you heard and ask what you got wrong.
Try not to assume anything is personal, that you’ve been understood, or that you understand someone else during this stressful time.
By calming your nervous system and checking for understanding you’ll reduce hurt feelings and increase everyone’s chances of getting critical tasks done correctly.
Tip #3: Prep For Sleep
Feeling tired, but too wired to sleep? Many helping professionals experience this on an average work day. Now lots of us are struggling with falling and staying asleep at night.
The irony is that sleep is an important part of keeping our immune system healthy. And we need that now more than ever.
So what can we do if we’re too stressed to sleep? It probably won’t help just go to bed early. Most of us will need to actively prepare our bodies to rest.
1. Get grounded and self-regulate all day with the practices listed above. Self-regulation is no joke! Pump the breaks on your stress response ALL DAY.
2. Create a 5-20 minute pre-bedtime routine to help shift your body into a more parasympathetic (rest and restore) state:
Do “legs up the wall” pose for 5-10 minutes
Use a weighted blanket or an 8 pound bag of rice on your belly
Take a lukewarm shower 60-90 minutes before bed
Stretch tight muscles with a foam roller
Listen to guided meditations, yoga nidra, or an audiobook
Soak your feet in Epsom salt with lavender oil
Write in a journal – release worries or notice the good
By taking some time to release tight muscles, lower your blood pressure and heart rate, and sooth your frazzled nervous system, you’ll be more likely to fall and stay asleep.
If you do find yourself waking up at 3am, don’t stress about it. If you can’t fall back to sleep, get up and try one of the options above.
Tip #4: Stop Looping
Rumination or overthinking can feel like a productive thing to do when you’re nervous or upset, as we all are right now. But numerous studies have shown that overthinking leads to a variety of negative consequences.
It sustains or worsens our sadness, fosters negatively biased thinking, and impairs our ability to actually solve problems. We need to get out of the loop.
If you notice you’re going round and round in your head try to:
Engage in a distracting activity. It needs to be engrossing enough that you won’t lapse back into thinking and ideally something that generates a positive emotion. But it doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it absorbs you and doesn’t harm you.
Read or watch something suspenseful or funny
Meet a friend for a virtual coffee date
Go for a run or do yoga
Pray or meditate
Run lists or count objects. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try naming all 50 states, the cast of GOT, count the books in your office, or name 50 objects you can see right now. This helps bring your upstairs brain back online and then you can more easily shift to another activity.
Talk back to yourself. If you notice you’re saying the same negative things to yourself on repeat, choose a new comeback or mantra to repeat instead:
“I can handle this.”
“I will deal with what happens when it happens.”
“I’m doing the best I can with the limited resources available.”
“I’m a compassionate badass who tackles challenges for a living.”
“This is temporary.”
When we’re stressed our mind, just like our body, can go into overdrive. But we can use positive distractions and compassionate self-talk to help us break out of the worry cycle, so we can feel more calm and capable.
Tip #5: Sanitize with Compassion
Metta meditation, otherwise known as Loving Kindness Meditation (LKM), is a powerful practice (backed up by science) that generates positive emotions, a sense of goodwill, compassion for yourself and others, and fosters connection.
Right now, we could use ALL of the above! This is a simple practice you can do anywhere. Right now, it’s a great way to feel connected every time you wash your hands.
If you want to give it a try, say the following phrases to yourself:
May all beings be safe. May all beings be happy. May all beings be healthy. May all beings live with ease.
Repeat this set of phrases three times. That’s enough time to generate warmth in your heart AND bust the germs on your hands.
Remember: Stress is cumulative, but so is self-care. If you take a few minutes here and there throughout the day to self-regulate, check for understanding, prep for sleep, distract your worried mind, and feel connected to the world while you scrub, it will all add up, helping you to feel more calm and resilient during this difficult time.
You know who doesn’t need to work on their boundaries?
And probably parrots.
Okay, let’s just say animals.
Animals know what they like and do not like.
They know what they want to do and don’t want to do.
Then they do it. For as long as they want and then they stop.
If they want you to pet them, they shove their face in your hand.
If they want you to stop petting them, they walk away.
But only IF we allow them to.
We humans are not great with boundaries – ours or theirs.
We frequently fail to state our own boundaries clearly, so that others can respect them. See: biting your tongue instead of saying “do not touch my dog!”
We constantly ignore boundaries that are being clearly communicated to us. See: growling. And “It’s okay for me to pet him. I’m really good with shy dogs.”
Animals have a lot to teach us about boundaries. Here’s what they do without breaking sweat:
They don’t second guess themselves.
They don’t worry about what anyone thinks of them.
They don’t apologize or mumble when they say what they need.
They don’t feel guilty for hissing, growling, or walking away.
They don’t feel weird about changing their minds.
Animals clearly state their needs and limits. Then, depending on the circumstances and context, they will adjust their limits.
Healthy boundaries are firm and flexible. Animals let their boundaries change, based on their needs in that moment.
Old Boundary: I will hide under the bed for a thousand years before I allow you to touch me. New Boundary: I’ve decided to sleep on your head.
Old Boundary: I will bark and lunge at any dog that dares to walk on the other side of the street from me. New Boundary: I’ve decided I would like to sniff that particular dog’s butt.
Animals know what they want and ask for it.
They don’t worry about it being ridiculous or out of character or inconvenient or rude.
Obviously, it’s more complicated (kinda) for humans.
We’ve been ignoring our boundaries for so long, most of us aren’t even sure what they are anymore.
Even if we do know what our limits are, we’re too afraid, embarrassed, or busy trying to accommodate everyone else’s needs to assert ourselves.
Or maybe we feel conflicted and guilty because taking care of our needs means we might not be able to do ALL the things for the animals and people we love.
Let’s take a page out of the cat self-care playbook: They do not think it’s selfish to drink out of the kitchen sink or to warm their buns on our keyboards. They don’t feel lazy for taking their 17th nap of the day.
We love that about them.
We believe that animals are entitled to be well cared for and have their needs met, even if they don’t do a damn thing to “earn it.”
Well, we’re animals too.
With that in mind, here are some questions for you to explore:
What if you could approach your life the way animals do?
What would be different if you allowed yourself to pay close attention to what feels good and what feels unpleasant?
What would happen if you gave yourself permission to move away from what’s causing you harm or doesn’t serve you anymore?
Animals are always our very best teachers.
So the next time you’re not sure what a healthy boundary looks like, try to channel your inner cat.
Look that person right in the eye. Slowly knock everything off their desk. Then walk away.
No matter what you do for a living, if you’re like most of us, the demand for your help and services far outweighs your resources.
And that means you need to say “no” a lot.
It takes courage to say “no” – it makes most of us sweat.
And we may find that we feel some anger, resentment, or annoyance towards the people who made the requests…because they put us through the misery of needing to set limits.
For example, if you got a call from a client asking if you can squeeze their dog in for a last minute appointment that day, you might feel annoyed that they’re even asking.
Don’t they know that I don’t have the time for that? That I’m already stretched to my limits?
Maybe you wind up saying “yes” and then you’re overwhelmed.
Or maybe you do muster up the courage to say “no”, but then you’re upset that their request put you through the torture of turning them down.
No matter what your answer, you feel stressed!
Here’s where it helps to understand that there are two different styles of making requests.
I talked about it in a Facebook Live last night. You can watch that HERE to hear more or keep reading…
Andrea Donderi has a theory that we’re all raised in one of two cultures: Asking and Guessing.
In Ask culture, people grow up believing they can ask for anything – a favor, a raise, a last minute appointment, – fully realizing the answer may be no.
In Guess culture, people grow up believing that they should only ask for something if they’re pretty sure the answer will be yes.
Which one do you think you are?
Askers put stuff out there and wait to hear your decision. Can you watch my dog this weekend, so I can go on a last minute trip? Can you squeeze my cat in for a quick exam? Can you fit any more carriers on that transport?
Askers don’t mind if you say “no” – they’re just gathering info about what’s possible.
But when an Asker meets a Guesser, things get stressful.
Askers expect you can and will say “no”, if it doesn’t work for you.
But Guessers have a hard time believing that the Asker really feels this way.
If you’re a Guesser, you hear the request as an expectation.
They wouldn’t have asked, unless they expected I would say yes.
That’s why Askers can come off as rude or presumptuous to people who are Guessers.
Remember that pet owner who called for a last minute appointment?
They might be rude and inconsiderate OR they’re just an Asker, who expects you might decline.
They’re just giving it a shot by asking.
The problem is that Guessers are assuming everyone has the same mindset about asking – that no one would ask unless they expect the other person to say “yes”.
This mindset is based on a false assumption.
And this assumption creates a lot of unnecessary resentment and additional anxiety when we’re saying “no” to any request.
So what do we do about it?
If you’re an Asker, be clear about your expectations when you’re making the request: let the other person know it’s okay to say NO. Give them an out.
Explain that you understand your request may not be something they can accommodate and you’re open to other options or ideas.
If you’re a Guesser,stop assuming everyone expects you to say yes. A LOT of the requests you get are from Askers who expect that you might decline.
Experiment with assuming that at least half of the requests you’re getting are from people who know it’s a long shot. Drop the baggage of imagined expectations. It makes saying “no” a lot easier.
If your Guesser, try asking for more. When we only ask for what we want and need if we’re sure the answer will be yes, we’re shortchanging ourselves.
We can’t possible know what someone’s answer will actually be, unless we ask. Don’t assume! You’re cheating yourself out of a lot of help (and potentially wonderful experiences) because you guessed incorrectly.
I know that this doesn’t address the guilt, sadness, and stress of knowing that an animal is suffering or might die because you’re setting limits, but it is one layer of your stress that you can potentially let go of.
Two months ago, when I felt like I couldn’t do much of anything (because grief), I did what every sad, but kinda crafty 40 year old woman does: I bought stuff on Etsy.
Specifically, I bought a Lisa Congdon print that says OK Let’s Do This. I hung it right above my desk.
It wasn’t my first choice (I love all of her work), but I sorely needed a pep talk. I was feeling stuck, slow as molasses, and had no idea how I was ever going to get all my work done. Between you and me, my couch game this year has been STRONG.
I knew I needed to see and say those words every day: OK Let’s Do This.
OK Let’s Just Try To Do This One Thing even though your brain had been replaced with moldy Silly Putty.
OK Let’s Get To Work and try to get three things done, then you can listen to another chapter of Educated.
OK Let’s Make a Move Right NOW because if you hesitate for one more second, the couch is going to swallow you whole and burp out your uncharged Fitbit.
OK Let’s Do This.
It was a one sentence pep talk. Nothing fancy. I was just straight up inner coaching myself. But it worked (things that also worked: being outside in the sun, seeing a therapist, painting the walls a new color).
Here’s what I want for you: find the words that help you move in the direction you want to go. Then say them a lot. A lot, a lot.
I couldn’t conjure up the right words, so I borrowed Lisa Congdon’s to
help me pick myself up over and over again this spring, until I could do
it on my own.
eventually got rolling again and it wasn’t long before I got my first
whiff of overwhelm. I had a lot of catching up to do and I felt
anxious. So I had to change my pep talk.
OK Let’s Do This became It’s OK You Got This.
One motivated me to get going. The other helped me to feel calmer, more capable.
Whenever I notice that I’m starting to spin out about the classes I’m teaching, the programs I’m building, the newsletters I’m (not) writing, and the conference talks I’m giving, I stop and remind myself:
Yes it’s a lot, but I know I can do this. I’ve done it before. I’ve got the skills. I’ve got the knowledge. All will be well.
And I feel better.
That’s what I want you to know: What you say to yourself matters. Choose the words that will be most helpful and put them on repeat. Especially when you’re stressed out. Here’s why:
The way we perceive stress and the way we perceive ourselves in relation to stress matters.
Kelly McGonigal PhD wrote about 3 protective beliefs we can chose to have that will change how stress impacts our physical health.
The 3 Most Protective Beliefs About Stress:
View your body’s stress response as helpful, not debilitating (I’m gonna use this burst of energy to tackle that challenge!)
View yourself as able to handle, and even learn and grow from, the stress in your life (I can do this!)
View stress as something that everyone deals with, and not something that proves how uniquely screwed up you or your life is (I’m not alone in this, I’m just human, also maybe I need a snack?)
The research shows that having these positive beliefs can protect us from some of the harmful effects of stress, even if we can’t REDUCE our stress.
And here’s another way we can change how stress impacts us, without reducing our stress: find the meaning. If you can finding some meaning in whatever it is that’s stressing you out, you can reduce the harmful effects of stress (says McGonigal).
This is important to consider because lots of you work very intense jobs and there will be times when you can’t reduce your exposure to stress. So you have to change how you relate to it. That shift can help protect your heart (and other at-risk body bits) from the harmful effects of stress.
For me, it was the second belief (I know I can do this!) that has been really powerful for me these past couple of months. I can’t prove that it helped keep me physically healthy. But I can say, without a doubt, that telling myself over and over again – It’s OK, You’ve Got This – led me out of anxiety time and again.
When we believe (and reaffirm) that we have the skills that we need to address a challenge, we become less stressed by that challenge.
And if we don’t know how to address the challenge, but we believe that we have the capacity to learn the skills we need to tackle it, we’re less stressed.
If we believe that we have the skills and resources to cope with the difficult emotions that might come with the challenge, we’re more resilient to the stress.
How you perceive yourself in relation to stress matters. And you can shape your perceptions with deliberate self-talk.
So say it with me now: OK, Let’s Do This. It’s OK, I’ve Got This.
You can learn more about this stress perception stuff in the super popular TED Talk from Kelly McGonigal. But what about you? What words do you need to have on repeat, so you can do the thing?
If you’re in recovery, you may already be familiar with this incredibly helpful acronym because it’s a tool to help prevent relapse.
But every single one of us could use HALT. It’s a simple way to help us stay aware of our needs, so that we can care for ourselves more effectively and create better outcomes during stressful or upsetting moments.
Here’s how it works:
When you’re feeling your stress levels rise or a funk coming on, HALT is a reminder to stop and assess your true needs, before you do something that you’ll regret.
If you’re in recovery, the thing you might regret doing is using again. If you’re not, than the thing you might regret doing is yelling at your dog, saying something unkind to a loved one (including yourself), eating a whole box of cookies, being impatient or judgmental with a client at work, writing an inappropriate email, or firing off a hurtful social media rant.
Before you behave in a way that feels out of control or breaches your integrity, ask yourself if you’re:
Hungry: When was the last time you ate? Was it something healthy? Is your blood sugar low? Are you dehydrated? Hungers come in all forms: Are you hungry to have your emotional needs met?
Angry: Are you feeling resentful or angry right now? Towards another person, a circumstance at work or in the world, at yourself?
Lonely: When was the last time you talked with a friend? A counselor? A supportive coworker? Are you feeling isolated? Disconnected?
Tired: Did you get enough sleep last night? Do you need a quick nap instead of a caffeine blast? Do you need a day off?
All of these things may be influencing your thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Rather than just pushing through or ignoring your needs, identify if any of these are true for you at the moment, then take action to address them. Have a snack, talk with a friend, go for a brisk walk, take a nap.
If you can’t do anything to address your needs in that moment, acknowledge that your real needs are not being met right now.
Offer yourself some kindness and compassion. Remain aware that being hungry, angry, lonely, or tired increases the likelihood that you will act in a way that you may regret later, so tread lightly.
Or it may be the reason why you just did something you already wish you hadn’t done. Don’t beat yourself up (that never changes anything). Pause to breathe deeply. Consider how you can stay aware of your needs and better care for yourself in the future, so that you don’t allow yourself to get too hungry, angry, lonely, or tired.
The next time you snap at a customer, get frustrated with your dogs, feel hopeless about something, or just feel “off”, take a moment to HALT and ask a truly self-compassionate question:
What do I really need in this moment and how can I give it to myself?
and you feel rested and ready for whatever comes your way today. You know that there’s a long line of animals and people who need your help. No doubt, it can feel overwhelming sometimes.
But you take a deep breath, pour yourself some coffee, put on some comfortable pants (not necessarily in that order) and feel totally confident that you can handle the challenges today will bring because you’ve got Compassionate Badassery Boundaries.
You know you can trust yourself to:
Block off time for yourself and your own needs
Turn down last minute requests that don’t work for you
Only answer emails at set times
Limit the free advice you give to friends and friends of friends of your dentist
Empower others to problem solve and help themselves
Say yes to your ideal clients and work load
Pause and think about what you really want before you give your answer
Recalibrate when you start to take on too much
Cope with uncomfortable emotions
Offer yourself compassion that you can’t help them all.
How does that sound?
Let’s stop imagining and make it happen.
Forget that fantasy you have about being able to do it all, fix everything, and save ALL the animals.
What do you REALLY want for your life?
What do you want your days to look and feel like?
Do you want to help animals AND have dinner with your family every evening? Do you want to help people AND get in bed early to read a good book? Do you want to help your community AND meet your BFF every Wednesday night at the gym?
It may not feel like it right now, but: You actually have a choice.
And I built a new class to help you create those choices for yourself.
Building your Compassionate Badassery Boundaries is all about figuring out what you want and value in your life and then creating the boundaries you need to make it happen.
Over 6 weeks, (because healthy boundaries take longer than a few days to build!) you’ll access six modules, private discussion boards, and 4 live video group coaching calls to help you do that.
You’ll be learning with people who 100% understand how hard it is to set limits when animals are in need.
We get that the struggle is real.
Here’s what you can create with the tools from this course:
Know with confidence what you’ll say (or email) in order to have respectful, kind relationships with other people, even when you’re saying NO.
Create an end-of-the-workday routine, so you can stop multitasking and be present for your life at home.
Take regular breaks and trust that your staff or clients can handle things without you.
Deal calmly with any discomfort, including the guilt or anxiety that comes up when you state your policies and limits.
Start doing yoga or cooking dinner or making a scrapbook of your cats (or whatever it is that you’ve been wanting to do, but haven’t gotten around to it in a few, er, years) with your newly created free time.
Sound good? Then join us this winter and let’s get started!
But the deliberate anticipation of something fun can help us feel better and become more stress resilient. That’s because 6-8 weeks before a pleasurable event, our brains are already releasing dopamine.