Yesterday I spoke with some budding credentialed diabetes educators about living with diabetes. At the end of my talk, one of the students asked me what the best advice I ever received was and who gave it to me.
The first thing that jumped to mind was the advice that has been passed on to me from many different sources.
Be kind to yourself.
I’ve written about being kind to myself when I was stuck in a burn out phase a couple of years ago and trying to get back on track. But we shouldn’t just wait until we are absolutely exhausted and burnt out to remind ourselves that we need to be kind to us. We need to use it as a way to avoid getting into burn out too.
What does it mean to be kind to myself?
For me it means allowing myself to take a break from the computer when I need to and taking that walk around the block or a coffee run.
Being kind to myself means acknowledging that I am exhausted and that I deserve to rest. Even if it’s by spending a night in front of the tv watching Highway Patrol or Border Security.
It is also about giving myself permission to turn off all notifications for a few hours or a day, and not feel guilty about not providing an instant reply. Especially to student emails at 11pm at night…oops.
Most importantly, it’s about looking after me and putting me first – a concept that I find hard to accept sometimes. But if my mental and physical health are not up to scratch, I will be in no position to be helping others.
So if you ever need a reminder or a sign to be kind to yourself. Here it is.