Who’s the Boss of You? Take Back Control in 2018

Confession: I disappeared for a while. Ok, more than a while. More like a year.

I told people I was leaving this line of work, to work in a candy store and spread unicorn dust! I wish I was kidding, but I was seeking lightness in my life that I couldn’t quite reach while helping other people through their darkness.

Teetering on both sides of the high conflict fence.

Do you ever feel pulled between your reality and something that may feel better? That was me.

I never fully left my clients. I had one foot grounded enough to be able to help those who reached out. I still wanted to make a difference and impact for parents and kids experiencing high conflict separations and divorces.

But, I wasn’t sure if I was depressed or not. It felt like I was a fish trying to swim upstream through a thick and murky mud puddle. I was someone who loved pink, I shifted towards black.

My MD felt my symptoms were more along the lines of burnout rather than clinical depression. Her prescription was to rest and de-stress my life. (If I continued to burn the candle at both ends I’d risk the chance of getting sick).

Hello! Nobody Has Time for Burnouts

Do you know you’re on the edge of burning out but not really paying attention to the signs?

I have 4 kids, 3 dogs and a spouse. I work with parents who are going through a high conflict separation or divorce.

I am active on boards, committees, and community event planning. I hadn’t rested and de-stressed in…. well, never.

I’m not sure why, but something my MD said finally resonated with me.

Apparently it made sense to me that when you GO-GO-GO all the time, your body eventually says enough.

I hope you hear that message too.

Making Steps to Change

In January of 2016 I decided I needed to do something drastic to change my mood, demeanor, outlook, mindset, perceptions – you name it, I felt like I needed to tweak it because my former zest for adventure and change and action had become nothing more than a strong desire for bedtime to become earlier and earlier.

I didn’t want to just live to die. I just wasn’t sure how to regain my desire to thrive again.

So, I spent a few sleepless nights stressing about how to rest and de-stress and realized that was insane!

Hello?!?! Action Beats Worrying Every Time

I put one sleepless night to good use and came up with a list of decisions and actions I could make to immediately to help my body and brain rest and de-stress.

I built this list with the sole mission to help me thrive again:

  • Reduce work hours
  • Revamp monthly budget to allow for reduced work hours
  • Say NO to all invitations to ‘help out’ or ‘volunteer’
  • Say NO to all social invitations
  • Walk in nature for at least 15,000 steps a day
  • Reduce coffee intake
  • Take an art class
  • Connect with my spirituality
  • Eat more real food, less fake food
  • Nap daily

And I did all 10. Religiously.

(Except, I probably still ate too much fake food. And in hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have said NO to all social invitations – being a recluse isn’t entirely helpful).

What I Learned From on the Fence

  1. I help my clients disengage from the negativity in their life but I wasn’t practicing what I preached.
  2. I help my clients create boundaries to protect themselves, but I wasn’t implementing any of my own.
  3. I drill into my clients the importance of self-care but forgot to take care of myself.
  4. I found it incredibly hard to put my needs ahead of everyone else’s. Like, it took a lot of deprogramming to put the oxygen mask on myself before helping the person next to me – you know what I’m saying? And part of the problem was that I didn’t even know what my needs were!

Getting Back to Being Your Own Boss

  1. Let go of the life you ‘think’ you should be living, to live the life you have.
  2. Let go of the things you think need fixing, learn to manage things as they are.
  3. Re-learn who you are, then decide who you want to be moving forward.

I’m Back! I’m the Boss. I’m in Control

I had to take back control of my life. Because so often it’s just easier to get swept up in the busyness of living that we forget to actually decide how we want to live.

One year later and I truly AM BAAAAAACK!

I have a new online course, When Parents Can’t Be Friends, available for parents who are in a high conflict separation or divorce.

I have new one-on-one offerings including step and blended family coaching.

And coming in 2018, I’ll have an online forum to give parents who are experiencing high conflict co-parenting communications a place to connect, coach each other (with a moderator present) and practice their communication skills.

My life looks completely different now, 12 months later.

Yours can too.

You don’t need a vision board, or an end goal. You just need to make your list. A list that will give you the opportunity to recharge and de-stress.

Then make the list a reality. Don’t put it in a drawer where you will forget about it. Post it on your fridge where you’ll see it every day.

Make 2018 the Year of You.

Your health and your sanity depend on it.

I’m going to leave you with a quote I read recently. It’s a little dark and twisty but it’s message made a tremendous impact on me. Maybe it will for you, too.

Sadness is from happenstance. Depression is your BODY saying “I don’t want to play this character anymore, I don’t want to hold up this avatar that you’ve created for me in this world. Your body needs deep rest from the character you’ve been trying to play.” – Jim Carrey