If you saw my blog several weeks ago, then you know that at the time I was in the process of selling my house and purchasing a new one. The good news is that since then we have closed on both houses and everything is moved to the new house. Now I’m surrounded by boxes that I am trying to unpack on the weekends between being on the road teaching instructor workshops, and I am tired and feeling unmotivated.
I remember feeling this same way in the past in certain direct support and manager positions I had earlier in my career. In my first full time position in human services working at a group home with children with autism, one evening I was so done being there that I just dropped a stack of binders I was carrying and walked out of the house and got into my car to leave. It was only because of a co-worker that followed me out and talked to me, that I didn’t just leave resulting in me probably losing my job. The demands of the job and the overtime worked because of vacancies had caught up with me. All of these things can add up and take a significant toll on our emotion, psychological, and physical health.
The challenge when we get to that point is initially to find ways to care for ourselves, but then moving forward to prevent by engaging in continuous self-care. This is where the tools we teach in chapter one of The Mandt System can be really helpful. When we learn to keep our RADAR on ourselves, recognize that Maslow’s Hierarchy applies to us as much as it does to the people in our care, and that our own Four Walls of the House are just as important as anyone else’s, then we will be better able to keep ourselves healthy as we seek to support those in our care and deal with the stress in our personal lives as well.
Lastly, I’d like to thank Donna. My co-worker who followed me out to the car all those years ago. She probably saved my job that night and allowed me to continue on the course that has gotten me where I am today. This speaks to the power and importance of Healthy Relationships in our lives as the foundation that helps us be successful.
Doug ZehrVogt- Mandt System Faculty