Thank God it’s Monday!!
If you are not saying “Thank God It’s Monday!” on your way to work each Monday, please, do yourself and everyone else a favor, turn your car around and go home.
Get Your Mind Right
If the most effective agent for healing in the work we do are the relationships we are able to make with our clients and families then it is imperative that we show up with a healthy, motivated, inspired and growth-oriented mentality. We’ve got to make sure our minds and hearts are in a good place to do what we do effectively. This goes for the helping/healing profession, but is arguably true for all professions. It simply is an efficient way to live a life worth living. Get your mind right for Monday and for the entire week. However, it is you need to do that. We owe it to ourselves, our colleagues as well as to our clients and families.
Self-Care and the Parallel Process
It’s essential for us as treatment providers, mental health workers, social workers, coaches, mentors and advocates to be able to show up fully each day and in each moment. The currency we trade is attention and if we are not putting our own oxygen masks on first, then we can’t “be the place where others come up for air”, as Ram Dass says.
Self-care should be an ethical mandate in our professions and we would be wise to walk a parallel path of personal and professional growth and self-care, ya know, walk the talk. If we do this, we are able to show up on Mondays from a space where we can engage, encourage, challenge and inspire those who most need us. If we do this, we are able to be self-empowered and can sustain the kind of energy, attention and connection that is supportive, relatable and possibly infectious.
One easy way we can align with the TGIM mentality is to distill some truths that we find about ourselves and about the people we work with, post them somewhere as reminders and take a few minutes to reflect on them each morning. The 3 that I’ve planted, water frequently and continue to bear fruit in my mind, heart and in my days are;
1) Below confusion lies sanity (like the sun behind clouds). I hold fast that if drugs/alcohol are out of the picture (or at a minimum, reduced) and if mental health issues are attended to that the natural inclination of each person is toward growth, evolution, curiosity, courage and kindness.
2) Everything is workable. (For every situation there is a solution. Nothing is hopeless. Kind of like the Jane’s Addiction album, “Nothing Shocking”.)
3) Everyone is just trying to get their needs met (So be curious and kind. Practice “not knowing”, and lean in with gentleness and care. Help them better understand their needs and how bad feelings relate to them not getting met. Then explore better ways to get them met.)
These are three reminders (like Lojong mind training slogans in the Buddhist tradition) that work for me and help me show up in my own life in a way that allows me to be more genuine and to work toward being kinder to myself and more helpful to others. Try this if you’d like .…. write down a few of your own mottos, slogans or reminders that can ground you, that are or can become anchors when your own stormy seas arise or if you are encountering the choppy waters of navigating the clients, families and work that we do, as well as the realities and complexities our own lives.
Start your day in ways that ground you. Eat well. Sleep well. Exercise. Get your money right. Invest time and energy in healthy relationships and family. Continue your own journey of therapy, recovery, self-care and/or exploration. DO THE WORK so that when you walk out your door on Monday morning you can walk out into the world and really mean it when you say,
“Thank God It’s Monday”.