Life Lessons, Reincarnation and The Masters (part five)
“Balance and harmony are neglected today, yet they are the foundations of wisdom.”” Weiss, Brian L., M.D. Many Lives, Many Masters: The True Story of a Prominent Psychiatrist, His Young Patient, and the Past-Life Therapy that Changed Both Their Lives. (p. 209). Touchstone. Kindle Edition.
A logical place to start this week’s Musings is with a question. What happens when you live a life that is out of balance? If you are at this Mental Health Musings blog through my website, fivetribestherapy.com, you’ll know that I believe very strongly in the “A Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit Connection.” I am certain that the three “states” cannot be separated from each other.
Stress affects the body in various ways, such as insomnia, headaches, upset stomach, tension in the neck and shoulders, and can even lead to heart disease, stomach issues, such as an ulcer, migraines, depression, and anxiety. Stress releases adrenaline and cortisol into the body, which is not a bad thing, when the body needs to enter the age-old fight or flight response, but chronic stress releases adrenaline and cortisol in amounts and frequencies that are maladaptive.
Now, there are certainly ways to manage daily life stress. These include eating healthfully, exercising regularly, and maintaining good sleep habits. Other ways to help with stress is to practice relaxation techniques, such as yoga, deep breathing, meditation or creative visualization. Some of my clients have taken to keeping a journal, either to process their thoughts or feelings, or to record positive things for which they are grateful – or even BOTH. Another suggestion would be to find and implement into your daily life hobbies, such as reading, listening to music, or watching new television shows or movies. Or you can be more physically active and take up gardening, or other outside activities such as hiking, cycling, running, walking, or even bird watching or mountain-climbing or BOULDERING!
To aid in maintaining a positive work life personal life balance, build and encourage healthy friendships and relationships with family. Indulge your sense of humor in kind, thoughtful, FUN ways, finding a way to bring into ALL aspects of your life, work and personal alike.
One of my new, favorite ways to maintain a work life personal life balance is taking frequent “playcations.” I recently decided that I was going to take one weeklong playcation each quarter, i.e., Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall, and that I would completely “unplug” from work. I recently completed my first quarter playcation with an awesome week in Minnesota. It was so marvelously fantastic, spending time with a dear friend seeing things I’d never seen before; going places I’d never been before, that I am STILL feeling the very positive effects of that week. I feel so much less stressed and am not experiencing the burnout so common in my profession!
I plan to keep up this “schedule” with a trip back to the East Coast in early November to spend time at one of my all-time favorite places, Colonial Williamsburg, in Virginia. I’ll follow that up with my Christmas Week Staycation to finish out 2021.
Now, to be clear, it’s not all fun and games in my life. I have a very full private practice of psychotherapy, working with folks who struggle mightily in their lives with depression and anxiety, among others. I work VERY hard, and as a compassionate, sensitive person, can find myself identifying TOO closely with my clients, and I can become overly stressed as well. Hence the implementation of Leslie’s Excellent Playcation!
More Mental Health Musings coming next week!