Personal / therapy

Let Go

{Ventura, California}

Several of my readers know how much I struggle with self-care and criticize myself on days that I feel less productive (I wrote about the subject here, here, and here).  I’m starting to let go of the guilty, judgmental thoughts, which I’m sure are ingrained in the minds of many others like myself who’ve spent most of their lives incessantly working towards a degree and busy career.  Last month, I disclosed to one of my patients that I sometimes sit on the couch and watch tv for hours on days I feel exhausted and overwhelmed.  I regretted telling her the information because I realized my attempt to make her feel less guilty about doing a similar “lazy” regimen was really an attempt to validate my own actions of simply resting on my days off.  I realized how much I still need to work on letting go.  I need to let go of the pressures, demands, guilt, and self-criticism.

Well, I’m happy to report that I went to the beach this week, strolled, and stared out at the water as the surfers rode the waves.  The thought of rushing home to answer emails popped up in my head a few times, but I surprisingly allowed myself to let the thoughts go.  I’ve been working on this process of self-care for years, but I’m making progress.  And that’s all that matters (no self-criticism involved).

What activities of self-care did you incorporate this week?  I hope you all have a wonderful, relaxing weekend!

12 thoughts on “Let Go

  1. A relaxing walk on the beach, listening to the waves. As we say in Motown, I second that emotion. It won’t be long before the warmer weather makes Michigan beaches suitable for strolling.
    I have to say that I winced when reading about your “regret” for your alleged (legalese alert) slip-up with your patient. Since I have a JD and not an MD, I don’t know about the professional propriety of disclosing your own “laziness” (aka relaxation), but I imagine your patient may have appreciated it. Anyway, my point is there are traffic violations and there are felonies. I associate the word regret in this instance with guilt and self-criticism, but if you made an error it was only a minor one. My previous advice still stands: give yourself a break. 🙂 Sounds like you’re moving in that direction.

    • hi tom, my patient appreciated it, but i guess my regret is that i had a feeling during the exchange that it wasn’t going to help much. there’s several issues that arise with self-disclosure in psychoanalysis, and though i’m not strictly freudian (it’s hard to be with short follow-up appts), i’m very analytical in my interactions with patients (if that even makes sense). anyway, i knew you’d pick up my sense of regret, but i wouldn’t be authentic without a little bit of self-criticism in my posts! Baby steps 🙂 Have a good weekend!

  2. Had a rain day so we didn’t work, gave me a chance to play “catch up” around the home. It felt good to accomplish several things on my wife’s “honey-do” list. Thanks for asking 🙂 DM

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