Empathy Includes Self-EmpathyMay 05, 2022
As practitioners, our relationship with our clients plays a crucial role in their journey to health and wellbeing. The time we spend really understanding and working with them hugely enhances the effectiveness of our work.
In the UK, we have the NHS where doctors only have a few minutes to spend with each patient. They don’t have the time to build relationships with people or review the different aspects of the care they need. Many doctors suffer from patient fatigue where they’ve had their empathy literally knocked out of them over the years.
An empathetic practitioner will put their clients at ease. To be able to consistently provide compassionate services, you must work from a full cup. Do you practice what you preach and look after yourself as well as you look after your clients?
I’ve been guilty of neglecting myself recently, assuming I can carry on going without topping up my metaphorical cup. The last few years have been challenging and I stopped putting my needs first, and my neglect is catching up with me. I’m a work in progress, but I know I must make myself a priority - or I will be no good to anyone else.
So, if you’re feeling the same and want to join me, here are areas to work on:
How well do you look after your body? Are you regularly making time to exercise or include movement into your schedule? Do you have a good, balanced diet that gives you the fuel you need? Are you filling your body full of toxins?
Looking after your body will help you feel energised and full of vitality. What small steps can you take today to improve the way you care for your body?
Stress is a huge problem in today’s culture. Having spent 14-years working with clients stuck in chronic stress, I’ve seen the havoc it can cause to their health and life. It can cause debilitating symptoms including poor quality sleep, immune issues, digestive issues and not being able to think clearly and cleverly. By calming your stress response down, it’s amazing how quickly your body and health can bounce back.
Identify the best way for you to de-stress and allow your body and brain to re-balance.
I use a combination of approaches and I make time for a morning routine of meditation, visualisation, reading and getting out into nature with the dogs every day. I also love either getting into my garden or doing arts and crafts as I find both very therapeutic.
If you spend a lot of time working on your own, it can be lonely. Feeling disconnected from others will deplete your ‘cup’. I’m fortunate to have a great support network with a business buddy (who I meet with on Zoom each week for a coffee), a business coach to keep me accountable, a mastermind group and an online business community. Outside of my family and friends, these are where I get support when I need it.
What support networks can you tap into to ensure you feel connected to other people and supported?
If you’re not already in my Facebook group, come along and join us for support: Holistic Business Matters.
Having a purpose in life will keep you motivated and moving forward. Do you find joy in what you do? Reminding yourself of your purpose will fire up your energy and help you find the passion to do the work you find more challenging. If you need help in identifying your passion, look at Simon Sinek’s work on finding your ‘why’, this is at the centre of everything you do.
Do your different environments feel harmonious? If they’re out of sync with you, they’ll be depleting your energy and emptying your cup. If there are small practical steps you can take to improve your environment, it is well worth the effort. Spending 30 minutes sorting out your desk and filing things away will massively increase your productivity and focus.
If there are bigger jobs you can’t do anything about immediately, get all your thoughts out of your head and create a plan of action. This will free up your headspace from trying to remember and plan everything. Then use your chosen approach to work on accepting things as they are and letting go of any frustrations with where you currently are.
Changing your environment and spending time in nature is a great way to recharge. Taking a break and benefitting from the amazing powers nature has to offer is a great way to fill your cup.
What small step can you take today?
If you’re running low in any of these areas, you’re in danger of burning out. This will affect your ability to help your clients. At its worst, it could totally stop you from being able to function or work.
If you’re feeling depleted, get support to help you take the steps you need.
If you’re struggling with this, book a call with me today and find out how I can help you.