When I was 21 I was just starting to learn about privilege. I took a seminar on the Indigenous People of Quebec where we had guest speakers who were activists and lawyers fighting for the rights of Indigenous people.
My friends were all taking similar courses, reading more and waking up to the state of the world.
I wanted to help.
My initial understanding of how to help was to put my needs on the back burner and do what I could to help marginalized folks in Canada. After university I got a job I felt passionate about: organizing workshops where indigenous youth could learn their legal rights.
But I had no boundaries when it came to work, I took it home on the weekend and when I made mistakes, I wasn’t able to forgive myself.
At that point, I thought taking care of my own needs was selfish, because I had so much privilege already, I shouldn’t need anymore help.
And that’s a big part of why only a year into this job, I burnt out. And I didn’t work again for over 2 years.
So I have a PSA I really want you to hear:
YOU GET TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
YOUR NEEDS ARE IMPORTANT
YOU DESERVE REST
YOU GET TO HAVE NEGATIVE FEELINGS
YOU GET TO EXPRESS YOURSELF
YOU GET TO ASK FOR HELP
Some of my clients feel like they have to put everyone else’s needs above their own and so resting and caring for themselves gets put on the bottom of the list.
But rest has MAGICAL PROPERTIES in it that’ll help you solve whatever problem you’re trying to solve.
Archimedes literally created the Archimedes Principle by TAKING A BATH.
And whether it’s a problem of injustice in the world, a challenge you’re facing in your career or a personal issue, rest and loving compassion with yourself will often lead to the solution you need.
Think about the times when you’ve been struggling with something and the answer came to you in shower. Or how productive you’re able to be after a full weekend off.
Working yourself to the bone, shaming yourself for feeling upset and never asking for help doesn’t help you, your family, your community or the world.
It might have a short term positive impact to push yourself, but in the long term it’s not going to be good for anyone.
So take better care of yourself. Put your needs FIRST and in the long run you’ll be much more supportive to the people that you love and you’ll be much better at helping creating a more just and equitable world.
YOU DESERVE REST AND SUPPORT. TAKE THE BEST CARE.
P.S. If the kind of support you need right now is working with a mental health professional, I have a few slots open in my one on one practice. Feel free to reach out and we can hop on a free call to discuss the challenges you’re facing and whether working together is intuitively the right fit for you.