Category Archives: Self Care

Healthy Boundaries: Walk Yourself Home

gray rock mountain range with green pine tries, pink sky, and sun rays in top right corner with quote from Brene Brown "Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others." Tag: healthy boundaries self-care

Healthy boundaries can be hard to identify and maintain. Here’s one concept that can help.


dark blue background fading to light blue "healthy boundaries for interpreters november 21, 2020 10:00 am - noon pacific burnout proof academy online self care ceus to register: burnoutproof.me" Tag: healthy boundaries self-care

 

We’ll be diving further into Healthy Boundaries this weekend in our LIVE Saturday School workshop on November 21st, 2020.
Check it out and register here to join us!

 


Let’s start with a really tangible definition for the often nebulous concept of ‘boundaries’:

A boundary is a property line, as defined by Dr. Henry Cloud. 

aerial view of blue rectangle tennis court with 2 people playing tennis with a green border around the tennis court and a fence around the court Tag: healthy boundaries self-care

Photo by Rodrigo Kugnharski

The boundary tells you who controls the property, who has freedom and choices over the property, and who is responsible for the property.

Now let’s take that definition into the realm of our everyday lives, and pair it with a concept that can help us decipher our property lines.

 

 

Types of property

The property that boundaries are helpful for include:

  • Emotional – your feelings
  • Material – your things
  • Mental – your thoughts, ideas, and beliefs
  • Physical – your body
  • Time and Energy – your time and energy

 

Who owns the property?

According to Byron Katie, there are three kinds of ‘business’ in the universe. I like to think of this as ‘Who owns the property?’

  1. Mine
  2. Yours
  3. The Rest (aka: God/Goddess/Universe/life/reality’s – pick the descriptor you resonate with)

I like to think of these three kinds of ‘business’ as three separate yards – like three pieces of property. 

Mine – My yard contains those pieces of property that I control and am responsible for: what I do, what I say, how I feel*, how I spend my time and energy, my possessions and what I believe.

*Feelings get a little star, because they are by-products of our thoughts, beliefs, and circumstances – not as easily in our control, but nevertheless, still our property. You can read more about getting to know your garden here.

Yours – Your business is what you control and are responsible for. All those same bits of property: emotional, material, mental, physical, time and energy.

Life’s/God’s/reality – This is made up of all the things that are outside of my control and your control. Examples include: the past and the future, as well as elements of the weather, accidents, traffic, etc. 

 

aerial view of a twisty road with cars driving the road and houses and buildings on both sides of the road with green trees scattered throughout Tag: healthy boundaries self-care

Photo by Brandon Nelson

Your map 

With my yard, your yard, and Life’s yard, we’ve basically drawn ourselves a map of our existential ‘neighborhood’. Maps are cool on their own, don’t get me wrong, but the magic comes when we use them to navigate.

Some scenarios where this map comes in handy:

  • When you’re feeling stressed.
  • When you’re afraid someone will be upset with you.
  • When you feel compelled to say ‘yes’ even though you want to say ‘no’.
  • When you’re caught in the mental loop of ‘what if’s – worrying about the future.
  • When you’re upset or angry with someone else.

In any of these not-so-hypothetical cases, you can pull out your map and ask yourself:
Where am I?

woman with blond hair wearing a brown sweater with a blue jean jacket and black pants standing in the middle of the road holding a map with green trees on the side of the road and white fog in the distance Tag: healthy boundaries self-care

Photo by Daniel Gonzalez

Find yourself on the map: “Where am I?”

Let’s use an example from above, and ask this question: “Where am I?”

When I’m afraid you will be upset with me, the property I’m focused on is your feelings – specifically your feelings of being upset with me.

Whose yard do other people’s feelings reside in? Their yard. Their feelings are their responsibility. When I’m trying to take responsibility for them, I’ve left my own yard – walked right off my own property and onto theirs – which leaves no one home to care for me.

Walk yourself home

black background with a yellow heart on top of circle shaped picture of a white picket fence with purple and pink flowers growing on the fence with a white arrow pointing to "walk yourself home @brighterfocus" Tag: healthy boundaries self-care

 

When you’ve found yourself trying to manage someone else’s property, walk yourself back home by asking:

“What’s my business?”

Identify what is in your control, or what is your responsibility, and take action.

 

That could look like:

Do boundaries make me self-centered?

At first glance, boundaries can seem like a way to stop caring about anyone but yourself. 

Let’s just sit with that. If you’re anything like me, that idea brings up a lot of fear about being selfish, putting my needs ahead of others, etc. When I pause, put my hand on my heart, and just feel those feelings of fear and guilt and breathe through them without feeding them more thoughts, they’re usually a lot quieter in 90 seconds or less. 

Here’s the real truth that I invite you to experiment with for yourself, straight from Brene Brown’s research: 

The most compassionate people are absolutely the most boundaried.

Let that sink in.

The more I leave you to your work/business/journey/lessons, and the more I take responsibility for my own work/business/journey/lessons – the more compassion I’m able to have for you and what you’re going through!

Healthy boundaries are the foundation of empathy, authenticity, and accountability – and they’re an integral part of self-care.

For more on staying in your own business and listening to your intuition as an interpreter, check out this RID VIEWS column –  Self-Care: Caring For Ourselves Within a Community.

green pine trees with green and brown grass in the background with a white transparent square including text "compassionate people ask for what they need. they say no when they need to, and when they say yes, they mean it. they're compassionate because their boundaries keep them out of resentment. brene brown, rising strong" Tag: healthy boundaries self-care

Healthy Boundaries for Interpreters

I hope you’ll join us November 21st, 2020 for Healthy Boundaries for Interpreters. We’ll explore what healthy boundaries are, what makes them hard to hold, how to tune into your guidance system, and how to communicate your boundaries in a kind and honest way. I can’t wait to spend this time with you!

Get all the info and register here

 

Reflection

Take a few minutes to journal and reflect, and then share with us in the comments:

Describe a time that healthy boundaries – yours or someone else’s – created a space for more compassion.

 

pink heart with pink lines around the heart Tag: healthy boundaries self-care

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Plant New Seeds | Self-Care Strategies for Fear part 6

Over the course of this series on self-care strategies for fear, we’ve:

  1. Become aware of and named our fears in part 1
  2. Separated the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in part 2.
  3. Spent time enjoying ourselves in part 3.
  4. Tended our feelings in part 4.
  5. Pulled the weeds of unhelpful thoughts in part 5.

Let’s round out our gardening metaphor by planting new seeds in the fertile soil!

black soil with 2 green sprouts with red stems coming out of the ground Tag: affirmations self-care strategies

photo by Daniel Hajdacki

Once you’ve made space in your garden by pulling the weeds, it’s time to plant new seeds. New seeds are the thoughts and beliefs that you want to cultivate, that will serve you and help you to be your best. You can identify these thoughts by the way they make you feel: empowered, at peace, and motivated.

Affirmations

Creating affirmations is one way to plant new seeds of helpful thoughts.

After identifying the unhelpful weed and pulling it, ask yourself:

“What’s a more empowering, kind, and true version of this story? What else might be going on here?”

Let’s take this unhelpful thought as an example: 

“She doesn’t care about my needs.”

I notice that when I think this thought I feel sad, rejected, unimportant, and hurt. Not helpful in aligning me with my values of connection and curiosity. I feel shut down and withdrawn – rather than connected or curious.

So I ask myself, “What’s a more empowering, kind, and true version of this story? What else might be going on here?’ I like to use my journal for these questions, and just free write whatever comes to mind. You could also talk this through with a friend or therapist, or simply think about it throughout the day.

What else might be going on here?

In this scenario where I’m believing “She doesn’t care about my needs,” what else might be going on here is that she might be really focused on her own needs. I’m believing that she should be taking care of my needs – which on second glance I don’t actually agree with. A truer statement might be that I support her in taking care of her own needs, and I support me in taking care of mine.

This makes me curious about how I actually may not have been taking care of my own needs. I’ve been upset that she wasn’t caring for my needs, when in reality I was the one who was prioritizing her needs over my own.

The new seed 

yellow sunflower with black center and blue sky in the background Tag: affirmations self-care strategies

photo by David Travis

A more helpful thought could be:
“I care about my needs,” or “I’m responsible for caring about my own needs.”

Check in with feelings

After identifying new seeds to plant, check out what feelings they spark. 

When I think these new thoughts: “I care about my needs,” and “I’m responsible for caring about my own needs,” I feel a softening inside. I feel myself turn back toward myself, instead of being so focused on what the other person isn’t giving me. 

I highly recommend printing out a list of feeling words for reference as you do this work.

When I think these new thoughts, I feel more calm, relieved, open-hearted, and curious. I feel more connected to myself, and I actually feel more connected to the other person as well.

Plant the seed  

snow capped mountain peaks with a orange, pink, and red sunset behind the mountains with white text "i care about my needs" Tag: affirmations self-care strategies

a lock screen reminder you can save on your phone

Planting the seed of this new helpful thought means installing it into your operating system, so that it can grow and flourish. This takes time and exposure. Reminders can be helpful!

I’m such a fan of sticky notes and lock screen reminders. 

Sticky notes can go on your computer monitor, bathroom mirror, nightstand, kitchen cupboard, dashboard of your car, or anywhere else you spend time during the day.

A lock screen reminder is easy to create for your smartphone using an app like Word Swag or Canva.

Whatever will help you keep your new thought top-of-mind so it can grow roots and take hold.

Why isn’t my seed taking hold? 

light brown twisted tree root with dark brown pine straw in the background Tag: affirmations self-care strategies

photo by Atanas Dzhingarov

Sometimes a new thought is too much of a stretch for our psyche to believe.

If you read your affirmation or new helpful thought, and you feel emotions or sensations like doubt, resistance, or skepticism, those emotions need tending before your new seed will take root.

Return to part 4 and give space and compassion to these emotions. Sometimes they just need to be witnessed, and they will dissipate on their own. Other times you may want to create a helpful thought that is more believable.

For example, if I felt skeptical when I thought, “I care about my needs,” that may simply not be true yet. 

First, I would sit with the emotions that come up. I may feel sad that I haven’t cared about my own needs in the past. I might feel distrustful that I can be counted on to care about my own needs. I may feel doubtful that I can even figure out what my own needs are. 

Just naming and witnessing these feelings is powerful. Placing a hand on your chest and imagining what you would say to a friend who was feeling these things can help you find compassion for yourself.

If at this point I decide that I want to find a new thought that’s more accessible or believable, I might play around with a few. Try them on and see how they feel! Some alternate, less-of-a-stretch thoughts might be:

  • I’m curious about my needs.
  • I’m willing to practice caring about my needs.
  • I’m willing to have needs.

When you land on a new thought that feels believable and helpful, then create your reminders and start rehearsing this new thought every chance you get!

brown tree trunk with green vines wrapping around trunk with a red ribbon tied around the trunk with green leaves and other trees in the background Tag: affirmations self-care strategies

photo by Douglas Hawkins

The gardening process

Pulling weeds and growing new plants is an ongoing process. Tending to our thoughts as we tend to a garden over time culminates in rich, fertile soil and a vibrant ecosystem of diverse, healthy life. It’s a moment-by-moment process that requires patience, persistence, and lots of self-compassion…and it’s so worth it. 

You are so worth it!

Resources for planting new seeds:

  1. 101 Best Louise Hay Affirmations of All Time
  2. Sitting With The Turnarounds – Byron Katie
  3. Watch your mouth! How the stories you tell may be making you miserable – Brighter Focus blog

Tiny Action

Spend 5 minutes with your journal and one weed (unhelpful thought). Make a list of possible new helpful thoughts, and then try each of them on to see which feels best and is most believable.

Once you’ve identified the new seed you want to plant, create a reminder and put it somewhere you’ll see it daily!

Reflection

Let us know in the comments:

What new seed are you planting?

a close up of a field of yellow tulip flowers with green stems and blue sky in the background Tag: affirmations self-care strategies

photo by Sergey Shmidt

 

 

In The Waiting

Orange mid-century sofa set in front of a brightly colored painted mural, showing a ship on top of rolling ocean waves. Tag: prayer waiting

Photo by Dan Gold

Taking a break this week from our Self-Care Strategies for Fear series, to just be with the ever-shifting emotions I’m feeling as we navigate the election here in the United States. We’ll be back with part 6 next week. If you want support for being with your emotions this week, check out part 4.

For now – a prayer for the waiting, for anyone who needs it.

Presence of Love,

Please be with me today.

Soothe my nerves and help me to be gentle with myself. 

Give me focus and purpose –
even one so inconsequential as washing a dish or a window with care.

Give me the courage to feel what’s mine to feel,
to stay with myself and in my body
through the waves of emotion.
Remind me that feelings always have an end.

Give me hope in humanity,
in the miraculous and unexpected,
in my own ability to handle hard things.

Thank you for every bit of joy and comfort I find today.
May I receive it fully and use it to fuel my own pursuits of love and justice.

With love and gratitude,

xo, Breana

November Workshops | Burnout Proof Academy Self-Care CEUs for Sign Language Interpreters

purple, blue, teal background "burnout proof academy online. self-paced. self-care CEUs for sign language interpreters" white heart with dashes around it. burnoutproof.me Tag: november workshops self-care ceus

November 2020 at Burnout Proof Academy

Here are the highlights of what ‘s happening this month at Burnout Proof Academy:

 

blue fading into teal background with light blue and pink words "healthy boundaries for interpreters" Tag: november workshops self-care ceusHealthy Boundaries for Interpreters – 0.2 GS CEUs – Our Saturday School LIVE workshop is happening on November 21st, 2020 from 10 am to noon pacific. Join us to discuss this tricky topic and develop tools to make holding clear, kind, healthy boundaries much easier. Saturday School LIVE workshops are a great opportunity to get to know other interpreters who are struggling with burnout and working on taking better care of themselves!

 

dark purple square with a light purple square inside with pink and white words "self-care for stressful times" Tag: november workshops self-care ceusSelf-Care for Stressful Times – 0.2 GS CEUs – Have you heard this episode of Brene Brown’s Unlocking Us podcast on burnout and completing the stress cycle? Do yourself a favor – listen now, and then register for Self-Care for Stressful Times! You’ll come away with more awareness of your own stress responses, specific supports that help you complete your stress cycle, and a plan for turning these actions into habits. 

 

rainy, foggy window with red and white lights shining through streaks of rain on window with white text "put on your raincoat. energetic protection for sign language interpreters" Tag: november workshops self-care ceus


Put On Your Raincoat: Energetic Protection for Sign Language Interpreters
– 0.5 GS CEUs – Interpreting work is sticky – especially in 2020! In this workshop you’ll create a raincoat to protect yourself from the energetic effects of interpreting work, with practices of self-reflection, self-compassion, and mindfulness. 

 

Check out our full list of courses here + sign up to get email updates and self-care support here.

I look forward to spending time with you soon at Burnout Proof Academy!
With love + bright focus,
Brea

Pull the Weeds | Self-Care Strategies for Fear part 5

This is part 5 in a series on Self-Care Strategies for Fear. You can find part 1 here, part 2 herepart 3 here, and part 4 here.

painting with black, red, and white smears with the quote "All war belongs on paper" by byron "katie" reid Tag: reappraisal self-care strategies

Image by Jolenee Born

Thoughts can grow like weeds

In our minds, unchecked thoughts can grow like weeds. It’s so easy for them to be constantly playing in the background, orchestrating and puppeteering our decisions and behaviors, rarely questioned or examined…flying under the radar. 

Try this experiment now: take your attention from reading these words and turn it toward your mind. Become aware of your thoughts – the steady narration that’s happening in your mind. What’s it saying? 

All of the ideas and beliefs you’ve soaked up since childhood are still operating today in the depths of your psyche as your operating system. Many of them are flat-out lies. This inner narration is programmed by your operating system. As you bring your attention to your inner narration, you have the opportunity to uncover your own operating system and the beliefs that undergird it.

Some of mine that I’ve discovered over the years:

“I’m annoying. No one wants to listen to me.”

“People who are angry are dangerous.”

“Any noise in the night is definitely someone breaking into our house.”

“No one will ever really understand me.”

“Prioritizing myself and my own needs is selfish.” 

 

Reappraisal Self-Care Strategies for Fear

blurry black and white picture of a person wearing a shirt with a fuzzy collar holding head, closing eyes, and screaming Tag: reappraisal self-care strategies

Photo by Callum Skelton

Thoughts, running wild and unchecked in our minds, are tricky and cunning – but thoughts on paper are lifeless and still. Getting these thoughts out of your head and onto the page is one of the best ways to weed your garden.

Once they’re on the page, ask them some questions. In mental health coaching we call this “reappraisal.” This is an opportunity to look again at something you took to be 100% true without really questioning it – or – at something you learned during a different time in your life when this belief helped to keep you safe, but maybe now is outdated and not as useful.

Ask:

“Is it 100% true?”
“Whose yard am I in?”
“How do I feel when I’m believing this thought?”
Name the emotions and sensations.

You can tell a weed based on its effects on your life. Weeds zap our energy. They contribute to us feeling disempowered, anxious, depressed, and unmotivated. Examining the truth of these thoughts and their effects on your body, mind, and spirit is a major step toward cleaning up your garden and freeing up your energy.

Questioning our thoughts and re-appraising their usefulness and truth can be difficult, especially if the beliefs were planted long ago or have trauma associated with them. Be very, very gentle with yourself as you do this work, and reach out for support if you feel scared, overwhelmed, or stuck. Having a neutral and steady person with you as you weed your garden can be so helpful. 

Resources for working with your thoughts

  1. How to Deal with Anxiety from The News – NPR Life Kit
  2. The Work of Byron Katie
  3. Get it Off: What to do when your work gets stuck to you – Burnout Proof Academy course
  4. All or Nothing Thinking – The Life Coach School Podcast episode #325 
  5. The Calling – Greatest Hits log exercise – Rha Goddess

Tiny Action

This activity comes from Burnout Proof Bootcamp

Create a note on your phone titled ‘Thoughts’ or something more creative! If you prefer pen and paper, grab a 3×5 card or pocket journal to carry around with you this week. 

When you notice a thought that accompanies stressful feelings (like the kind we talked about last week), make a note of the thought word-for-word – as if you’re narrating. At the end of the day, your list might look like this:

screenshot of iphone screen notes app with black background and white text: Thoughts Maybe she didn't hear me? Maybe I wasn't clear? This is my opportunity for connection with her I have to take it. She needs me. She might not be OK without me. I can put off what I need for just a minute. I don't want her needs to seem unimportant to me. She doesn't care about my needs. I've taught her not to care about my needs. This is my fault. I feel so stuck. I want to be able to do this on my own but I'm scared. Something bad might happen. But I shouldn't need someone to do this for me. I have so much to do this week. I'm already tired and the week has barely started. Tag: reappraisal self-care strategies

Next week: Plant new seeds

Once you’ve pulled the weeds, don’t leave bare ground to erode or to become re-infested with weeds. Next week we’ll look at how to identify and intentionally cultivate the helpful thoughts.

Reflection

Let us know in the comments:

What helps you become aware of unhelpful thoughts?

cluster of bright blue flowers with a purple center with blurred background of greenish-brown grass Tag: reappraisal self-care strategies

Photo by Selma Rizvić

Tend Your Feelings | Self-Care Strategies for Fear part 4

This is part 4 in a series on Self-Care Strategies for Fear. You can find part 1 here, part 2 here, and part 3 here.

Tiger laying on the ground with stars above its head. Six circles of varying colors with words inside: Text: Emotional Regulation 101 @seerutkchawla, Name it, Accept it is happening, Pause, breathe, delay response, Self-soothe, Be curious, compassionate, honest, Allow it to run it's course, Tag: tend feelings self-care strategies

Emotional Regulation 101 @seerutkchawla

Tending Feelings Self-Care Strategies for Fear

As you’re spending time in your garden, you’ll notice uncomfortable emotions. This might be one reason you struggle to make time for yourself.

Emotions can be very inconvenient, downright painful, and at times excruciating. 

Emotions are also called feelings, because we feel them in our bodies. Feeling things in our bodies is something that Americans in general, and white Americans 🙋 in particular, often avoid. This avoidance of feeling our feelings is at the root of many of our distraction-techniques and addictions.  

How emotions relate to burnout

The first warning light that signaled my burnout was physical pain. I was unable to sleep, run, play with my kids, do yoga, or even brush my teeth without shooting, aching, burning pain in my wrist, arm, shoulder, neck, and head. I tried all the typical physical healing modalities I had access to: supplements, physical therapy, diet, chiropractic treatments, acupuncture treatments. 

It wasn’t until I explored my experience of the pain with my own coach, that I began to uncover the years of emotions that were just sitting in my internal waiting room – begging to be heard. Together in that safe container of support, we made space for guilt, anger, sadness, regret, feelings of unworthiness, fear, and finally hope, joy, pleasure, and love. 

Emily and Amelia Nagoski wrote a whole, amazing book on this subject. They say, “Emotions are tunnels. If you go all the way through them, you get to the light at the end. Exhaustion happens when we get stuck in an emotion.”

Let that sink in.

Blue, green, yellow, brown, purple background with a heart shaped gray key at the top. Text: The stress itself will kill you faster than the stressor will - unless you do something to complete the stress response cycle. While you're managing the day's stressors, your body is managing the day's stress. It's absolutely essential to your well-being that you give your body the resources it needs to complete the stress response cycles that have been activated. Quote by Emily and Amelia Nagoski. Authors, Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle. Unlocking Us: Podcast with Brene Brown. Tag: tend feelings self-care strategies

Quote by Emily and Amelia Nagoski @brenebrown

Exhaustion happens when we get stuck in an emotion. 

Emotional exhaustion is one of the hallmarks of burnout, according to Herbert J. Freudenberger who coined his definition in 1974. Emotional exhaustion is described as, “fatigue that comes from caring too much for too long.” 

Of the three components of burnout, emotional exhaustion is the one most strongly linked to negative impacts on health, our relationships, and our work – especially for women or those aligned with feminine cultural norms. 

Every word of this Brene Brown podcast episode with the Nagoskis describes so beautifully how emotional exhaustion contributes to burnout and what to do about it. This is required listening or reading for every interpreter!
Burnout and How to Complete the Stress Cycle

Feelings always end

white wave crashing onto black rocks beside a mountain with blue sky behind it. Tag: tend feelings self-care strategies

Photo by Jana Sabeth

 When emotions are stored up without acknowledgment or space to be felt, they must get our attention in other ways. It can be so scary to allow these feelings to move through you. It can feel as if they’ll never leave or they’ll consume us – but I’m here to tell you: 

They always end.

 

Just like a wave, crashing on shore, feelings have a beginning, a crescendo, and a receding conclusion. The more willing and intentional we are about giving them space and ways to move, the less backlog we incur, and the more clear, present, and grounded we can be – even through our experience of them.

This Saturday, October 24th, 2020, I’ll be teaching a specific practice for completing the stress cycle and allowing emotions to move through that you can be doing throughout your day. Check out Self-Care for Stressful Times and join us!

Lean on your boundaries

When you first begin feeling your feelings, put some supports and boundaries in place to make it feel safer. Play music that helps you access the feelings that are coming up. Try this song for sadness. This one for anger. This one for disappointment. Make a whole playlist of your own. 

Keep a comfort object nearby – a pillow, soft blanket, or an essential oil. Juniper is especially helpful for fear. Set a timer, and when it goes off switch to an activity that feels comforting and safe.

Reach out to a professional – a therapist, a coach, a spiritual guide. Get support in place so that you can feel free to explore this messy, roiling mass that is our unprocessed emotions.

We’ll be talking more about ways to honor our own boundaries and to build trust with ourselves in the November Burnout Proof Saturday School workshop: Healthy Boundaries for Interpreters. Register to join us here.

Commit to staying with yourself

It can be really scary to feel some of these feelings, or you might not feel anything at all. Whatever you find here as you explore your emotions is a-okay. The most important thing is to stay with yourself. This means:

Don’t judge yourself or your experience.
Be willing to be uncomfortable.
Prioritize time and space for yourself – even if it’s just 5 minutes.
Notice that you’re still here when the feelings pass.
Allow yourself to feel proud of this scary accomplishment.

Resources for Feeling Your Feelings

  1. Burnout and How to Complete the Stress Cycle – Brene Brown with Emily and Amelia Nagoski
  2. The Dark Side of The Light Chasers: Reclaiming Your Power, Creativity, Brilliance, and Dreams – Debbie Ford
  3. 16-Second Stress-Relief for Sign Language Interpreters – Brighter Focus blog 
  4. Trying to Control Your Emotions Might Be the Problem, Not the Solution – Lyra Health blog
  5. Get right with your darkness – Mama Gena blog
  6. Understanding Your Sadness  – Michelle D’Avella YouTube
  7. The Body Keeps The Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in The Healing of Trauma – Bessel Van Der Kolk

Tiny Action for This Week

Set a timer for 5 minutes and be with your feelings. Maybe you have a certain situation you want to focus on to inspire the feelings, or maybe they’re already simmering at the surface. Just give them space and keep breathing through them.

This may be in your bedroom or bathroom, with the door locked, in your parked car, or outside while walking or running. 

Let us know in the comments:
What helps you access and process your emotions?

9 different colored circles with text inside surrounding a quote in the middle: You might know I'm stressed if... 1. i'm lost in my feelings. i'm twisty and can't get out. 2. i'm lashing out, confronting, protecting fiercely. 3. I'm shutting down, going numb. 4. i'm trying to earn love and acceptance. 5. i'm acting recklessly, i'm moving fast, filling the void. 6. I'm doing and doing, i'm running in circles. 7. i'm taking control. i'm acting in anger. 8. i'm withdrawing, i'm quiet, i can't be reached. 9. i'm anxious, i'm saying things i don't mean. Tag: tend feelings self-care strategies

@keeleyshawart

Next Week – Pull the Weeds

In part 5 next week we’ll explore ways to identify the weeds in our thinking patterns and how to work with them when we find them. Because our thoughts feed our emotions, pulling the weeds helps to reduce how often we go through our stress cycle. 

Until then, take such good care of your precious self.

Spend Time In Your Garden | Self-Care Strategies for Fear part 3

This is part 3 in a series on Self-Care Strategies for Fear. You can find part 1 here, and part 2 here.

Image: blue and pink flower border, quote from iain s. thomas Text: And every day, the world will drag you by the hand, yelling, "This is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this!" And each day, it's up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, "No. This is what's important." Iain S. Thomas. @brighterfocus Tag: spend time self-care strategies

Self-Care Strategies for Fear part 3

Distractions are plentiful in this hurried life. Even when there’s not something important to be doing, our mind grasps at things to occupy it. This is normal. It takes intention, it takes presence, it takes mindful awareness to notice the departure from here + now, and to guide ourselves lovingly back home, to ourselves.

Cultivating a practice of spending time in this garden of your mind + body + spirit is a gift that will keep giving to every iteration of future-you. Every moment you spend with yourself, and every time you’re willing to notice those departures and walk yourself back home, your relationship with yourself deepens and grows and becomes more fulfilling.

Spending time in your garden can look like so many things. The possibilities are infinite. For as many unique minds and bodies and spirits as there are on this planet (and elsewhere?), there are that many different varieties of gardens. So what will yours look like?

white woman with short brown curly hair sitting on blue trampoline holding a journal and essential oil bottle Tag: spend time self-care strategies

me in my garden with my trampoline, oils, and journal

Maybe yours has your journal, trampoline, and essential oils.

… your crystals, yoga mat, and a Redwood.

… your bible, running shoes, and hot tub.

… your puppy dog, pillow, and ukulele.

YOU GET TO DECIDE!

 

 

Whatever your garden includes, it is yours, you can change it anytime you want, and you get to feel comfortable, safe, joyful, and whatever-other-emotions-you-need-to-feel in it!

Finding/creating/making/honoring time for yourself to spend in your garden can be tricky. I find that designating a consistent time has helped it to become a habit that I look forward to and count on. For me, morning time is my garden time – before most of my family wakes up. This practice has also made it much easier to jump out of bed in the morning, because I’m so excited for my special time with ME.

If you want some support, connection, and accountability to help you create a garden-time habit, I made you a Burnout Proof Academy course called Make Time for You!

Some of my favorite resources for spending time in my garden:

  1. M O D E R N W O M E N / v i s u a l m a g i c – moonbeaming newsletter + moon cycle tarotscopes
  2. Chani Nicholas – horoscopes that feel more like therapy
  3. Rob Bell – The Robcast soothes my aching/worried heart
  4. Essential Emotions: Your Guide to Process, Release, and Live Free – formerly Emotions and Essential Oils – my oil bible
  5. The Miracle Morning – by Hal Elrod – where I first learned how fun it could be to wake up early and spend time in my garden
  6. Learn to Love ‘No’: Healthy Boundaries for Interpreters – a blog post I wrote that can help you protect your precious garden-time

Small Doable Action for This Week

Spend 5 intentional minutes in your garden, enjoying your body, mind, + spirit.

woman with curly brown hair sitting in window seat reading a book Tag: spend time self-care strategies

Image by Thought Catalog

Let us know in the comments:

What are your favorite ways to spend time in your garden?
What helps you to prioritize your garden time?

We’re sharing our favorite garden-time activities in The Burnout Proof Interpreter Collective private Facebook group. Come share yours with us too!

Sneak Peek: Be With Your Feelings – part 4

When we allow time to just be with ourselves, it can open the door to unprocessed emotions showing up uninvited or announced. The fear or avoidance of these visitors can keep us from spending time in our gardens.

Next week in part 4 we’ll explore what to do with these feelings that may arise. Spoiler alert: this might become your favorite part of the whole process!

Until next week, dear one, take good care of your precious self….and enjoy it!

Your Garden: Self-Care Strategies for Fear part 2

This is part 2 in an ongoing series on Self-Care Strategies for Fear. 

You can find part 1 here.

Thank you to everyone who’s reached out to share your fears and how they’re affecting you. This is deep, scary work, and doing it with others can add a bit of comfort and grounding to the process. Keep reaching out!

Ok, are you ready for part 2? This piece is short, but sets the stage for the work we’re going to do over the next few weeks. Let’s dive in!

Cognitive Behavioral Self-Care Strategies for Fear

Garden, sunflowers, cabin, mountains, fog, Switzerland. Tag: cognitive behavioral self-care strategies

Photo by Miguel Cortes

Your Garden

Imagine your insides as a garden. I know it’s weird, but humor me. We want to create a visual representation of your inner world, so that you can more easily attend to it.

Thrilling view of sunflowers. Tag: cognitive behavioral self-care strategies

Photo by www.krstojevtic.com

Your garden lies within the fenced confines of a yard that is your very own. This outdoor space can look however you choose: it may have a beautifully manicured grape arbor, trellised veggies, rows of flowers, pea gravel and statues, or a wide expanse of lawn. This space is yours, and only you decide how it is maintained.

Soil + Seeds: Thoughts

Dirty hands cupping brown soil.Tag: cognitive behavioral self-care strategies

Photo by Gabriel Jimenez

 

Within your garden, your mind is the soil – the rich, fertile, nourishing medium that cultivates life. 

Your thoughts are the seeds carried through on the wind – some tumbling away and out of your garden, some finding a hold in the ground of your mind. Some of these seeds you grab, sow in the ground on purpose, water, and tend to – these are your beliefs.

 

 

 

Buds, Blooms, and Thorns: Emotions

pink flower in a green field with grass Tag: cognitive behavioral self-care strategies

Photo by Stella de Smit

Your emotions spring forth based on how situations and circumstances interact with your thoughts and beliefs. Emotions are a byproduct of our circumstances filtered through our beliefs.

These emotions are like the buds, blooms, and thorns of those seeds you planted in the ground. The emotions themselves are worthy of holding space for and feeling, but they also serve a purpose. They are like flag posts signaling to us that there’s a thought operating below the surface. 

When an emotion feels uncomfortable – like sadness, jealousy, fear, and anger often do – we can ask ourselves: 

What thought is driving this feeling?

 

 The Fruit: Behavior

The last feature of our garden that we’ll look at today is behavior. 

Behavior – what you say and do or have the urge to do – is like the fruit of the plants in your garden. Our thoughts stimulate our emotions, which in turn drive us to act.

little red strawberry on brown wood table ALT TEXT: Tag: cognitive behavioral self-care strategies

Photo by Erwan Hesry

The more mindfully aware we are of the thoughts we’re planting and tending, and the emotions and sensations we’re experiencing, the better chance we have for our actions to be aligned with our values and intentions. On the other hand, if we’re not conscious of our thoughts and beliefs and haven’t chosen them intentionally, we may end up acting in ways that we regret.

Resources for supporting yourself as you get to know your garden

Image: tan background with a light tan sliver of a moon. Text: morganharpernichols. Listen. Listen to the way your heart beats and has continued to beat through the wild of all you have been through proving that there is still much more to you, and you survived much more than you ever thought you would be able to. mhn. Tag: cognitive behavioral self-care strategies.

@morganharpernichols on instagram

 

  1. Self-Care Quickie: Brain Integration | Self-Care Strategies for Interpreters
  2. This is not business as usual | Self-Care Strategies for Interpreting During a Pandemic  
  3. Exploring your inner continent | Kristen Kalp
  4. Caring for Ourselves in Community | RID VIEWS Self-Care Column
  5. Step Into the Clearing | Morgan Harper Nichols

Baby-Step: Reflection

This week, spend some time with your journal and explore the features of your own garden.

garden with flowers, green plants, green vegetables in a raised bed Tag: cognitive behavioral self-care strategies

Photo by Markus Spiske

Prompts to get you started:

Do you tend to be more aware of your thoughts, emotions + physical sensations, or actions? What helps you notice them?

Once you’ve identified your dominant feature, you can go forward or backward around the triangle to learn more about the others:

What thoughts do you have when you’re feeling (example emotions – substitute what’s relevant for you) sad, angry, frustrated, or jealous?

What emotions and physical sensations do you feel when you’re having these thoughts?

How do you act, what do you do, say, or want to do, when you’re thinking these thoughts or feeling these emotions?

In the moment that you’re feeling upset, this three-point check can be useful:

the cognitive triangle of thoughts, behavior, emotions Tag: cognitive behavioral self-care strategies

What am I thinking?
What am I feeling?
What am I doing?

 

 

 

 

 

An important note: 

We are observing, noticing, and increasing awareness here. Remember, a key component of mindful awareness is paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, without judgement.

As you bring your awareness to your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, notice any judgement of yourself that comes up. It’s helpful to make a note of this too!

Self-Care Strategies for Fear: Part 3

Next week we’ll talk about what to do in this lovely garden of yours, to enjoy it, get to know it, and work with it. You can read part 3 here.

Be so gentle with yourself this week, dear one, and remember that you have a whole community of precious people here to support you in taking better care of your precious self. Reach out to me privately here, or join in our community in the Burnout Proof Interpreters Collective. I look forward to connecting with you more deeply as we continue to explore self-care strategies for fear.

tiny pink heart with lines radiating from it Tag: cognitive behavioral self-care strategies

Want to be notified when new posts come out? Sign up here for my weekly love note. 

October Workshops | Burnout Proof Academy Self-Care CEUs

Happy October, dear one,

How’s your self-care holding up? If you’re like most of us, it’s probably been pretty rough this year – but it’s not too late to get some support and turn it around! 

Image: Rainbow colored geometric background. Small heart in the center. Text: Burnout Proof Academy. Online. Self-Paced. Self-Care CEUs for Sign Language Interpreters. burnoutproof.me. Tag: october workshops self-care ceus


Here are the
Burnout Proof Academy workshops + online courses available this month:


Interpretek. Interpretek is an approved RID sponsor for Continuing Education Activities. This General Studies program is offered for 0.2 CEUs at the Little/None Content knowledge level. RIC. ACET. @brighterfocus
Self-Care for Stressful Times – Our Saturday School LIVE workshop this month, worth 0.2 GS CEUs, is happening live October 24th 10:00 am – 12:00 pm pacific and will be available as a self-paced online course after that. We’ll use the Learning Zone Model to help you understand how your brain responds to stress, how to create rest and comfort during stress, and how to grow through stressful times.

 

Interpretek. Interpretek is an approved RID sponsor for Continuing Education Activities. This General Studies program is offered for 1.5 CEUs at the Little/None Content knowledge level. RIC. ACET. @brighterfocus
Burnout Proof Bootcamp – Fall session kicks off October 7th with a LIVE support session. Earn 1.5 GS CEUs in this 6-week self-paced online course that takes you deep into the causes of burnout and the resilience of self-care habits .

 

 

Interpretek. Interpretek is an approved RID sponsor for Continuing Education Activities. This General Studies program is offered for 0.1 CEUs at the Little/None Content knowledge level. RIC. ACET. @brighterfocus

 

Burnout Proof 101 – A one-hour intro to the Burnout Proof principles. This workshop was recorded September 30th, 2020, and is now available as a self-paced online course worth 0.1 GS CEUs.

 

 

Interpretek. Interpretek is an approved RID sponsor for Continuing Education Activities. This General Studies program is offered for 0.5 CEUs at the Little/None Content knowledge level. RIC. ACET. @brighterfocus
Put On Your Raincoat: Energetic Protection for Sign Language Interpreters – solidify your mindfulness habit with this 3-hour online workshop and 7-day 15-minute mindfulness practice, worth 0.5 GS CEUs.

 

 

Interpretek. Interpretek is an approved RID sponsor for Continuing Education Activities. This General Studies program is offered for 0.3 CEUs at the Little/None Content knowledge level. RIC. ACET. @brighterfocus

 

Make Time for You: A 7-Day Self-Care Reset for Sign Language Interpreters – build your self-care habit in 5 minutes a day, worth 0.3 GS CEUs. This is a great place to start if you’re feeling overwhelmed! 

 

 


Mark your calendars: a sneak peek for November

November’s Saturday School live workshop will be on Creating Healthy Boundaries, and is scheduled for November 21st 10:00 am – 12:00 pm pacific. Sign up for my weekly love notes email and be the first to find out about new workshops!

Self-care isn’t just for yourself

10% of all profit from Burnout Proof Academy courses goes directly to The Loveland Foundation – Therapy Fund for Black Women and Girls. May our self-care support the self-care of others.

I hope to see you soon! Please hit ‘reply’ with any questions, and as always – especially right now – take good care of your precious self. 

Image: pink and purple background. Text: I find myself being much more forgiving of my own shortcomings while I navigate the uncharted territory of working from home and doing VRI. I'm discovering new boundaries I want to set almost every day, which has become increasingly important now that I'm working from home. All in all, I am so glad I took this when I did, because I fear, with all the uncertainty in this moment, I would be a mess otherwise. - 2020 Burnout Proof Bootcamp Graduate @brighterfocus Tag: october workshops self-care ceus

My Biggest Fear | Self-Care Strategies for Fear part 1

 

Wood wall background. Older teen with pink hair, long lashes and purple eyeshadow, younger teen with shaggy brown hair, middle-age man with backwards hat and sunglasses, middle-age woman with short curly hair, and young teen with shaggy brown hair - all smiling. Tag: fear self-care strategies

My family and I, on my 43rd birthday

My kids are my achilles heel. If you want to bring me to my knees, distract me, or hold me hostage – mess with my kids. When they are hurting, it stirs up every anxiety and fear in me. A couple of years ago, one of the three was having a particularly rough time and subsequently, I was a wreck.

There are multiple versions of every story. Different details, different perspectives, different angles, different altitudes – that, if we consider them, completely transform the story.

From heartbreak to miracle.
From depths of hell to merciful heaven.
From worst possible scenario, to amazing luck.

This rough time of my child’s, when now viewed through the wise lens of hindsight, was such a major catalyst for the growth of our whole family. It has brought us closer together, it has developed a depth and a maturity in the one who went through it, and it’s carved a wider valley for love and joy in me. This perspective, the one of hope, gratitude, and growth as opposed to catastrophe and loss, fills me with peace and upholds the dignity of my child and their experience. It feels empowering.

But while we were in the thick of it all? It was a terrifying nightmare that threatened to eat us alive. I wasn’t sure my precious kid would make it. I wasn’t sure I would either. I wasn’t sure of anything, and that unsureness allowed space for my wildest fears and most heartbreaking regrets to take up residence in my mind. They grew and grew and smothered me with thorny tentacles from every direction. It was hard to ever feel safe while living in this nightmare.

Monster in the clouds. Tag: fear self-care strategies

Photo by Michael Weidner on Unsplash

Fear is often at the core of our disempowering stories. When our thinking brain is hijacked by our reptilian brain, the worst-case scenarios take root in our thoughts, gathering energy and mass, igniting anxiety and stealing our joy.

So much energy is spent trying to escape the feeling of fear, that we often don’t allow ourselves the compassion and understanding we need while experiencing it. It’s like we’re running so frantically to get away, when that scared part of ourselves really needs us to stop and give it a hug.

Mindful awareness can be that hug we need. According to Lyra Health, mindful awareness means paying attention on purpose in the present moment without judgement. It helps us to cultivate a space for ourselves to just BE – without having to fix, change, perform, or DO.

When we shine the compassionate light of mindful awareness on the noxious weeds of our fears, we can see they’re not absolute truths. The light shines through in places. Holes can be easily poked through. There are gaps in logic and structure. What once seemed to be an impenetrable wall of sharp thorns and certain death, is now illuminated at the source to reveal a few vulnerable stalks. We then have the opportunity to pull them out by the root, and to plant and nurture the empowering seeds of truth.

Fear Self-Care Strategies: Resources for Working with Fear

  1. Self-Care for Stressful Times – 0.2 GS CEUs – Burnout Proof Academy Saturday School Series – October 24th, 2020 10 am – 12 pm PT
  2. Embrace and Learn from Your Fear of Failure – Lyra Health blog
  3. The Power of Vulnerability – Brené Brown TED Talk
  4. Embracing the Darkness – Brighter Focus blog

Baby Step: Take Action

Choose one of the resources above, set your timer for 5 minutes, and dive in! Working with your fears doesn’t have to be a long drawn-out process. Break it down into tiny doable pieces to prevent overwhelm and practice holding loving boundaries with yourself. This is one of the keys to being Burnout Proof.

Reflection

Over the next several weeks we’ll be exploring this process of identifying our thoughts, feeling our feelings, and cultivating more empowering and truthful beliefs.

Image of a tall brick building with fire escape stairs. Large poster on the side of the building reads, "How are you really?" Tag: fear self-care strategies

Photo by Finn on Unsplash

I’d love to know what your experience of fear is like and any questions you have about being with it or working with it. Leave a comment below or drop me a line and let me know:

What keeps you awake at night?
What does fear feel like in your body?
What do you typically do when you’re feeling scared, worried, or anxious?
What would you like to know about working with your fear?

Ok dear one, thanks so much for being on this journey with me. Until next time, take good care of your precious self.

With love,
Brea

This is part 1 in an ongoing series on Self-Care Strategies for Fear.
You can find part 2 here.