How often do you do that? Relax, reflect, reward yourself?
If you’re like any of the other millions of dietetic students, interns, or professionals, likely not very much. I’m going to get stereotypical here for a moment (I know, I know, you shouldn’t do that) but SERIOUSLY aren’t we all like type A?! Okay, maybe not all but come on, the dietetic profession is so darn competitive that it is engrained in us to WORK WORK WORK. VOLUNTEER. EAT. STUDY. SLEEP. REPEAT. Ridiculous.
To get a dietetic internship these days you practically have to be superwoman/man.. and do super people relax, reflect, reward? Well, I don’t know, but that’s sure as hell not what they’re doing in the movies!
My point here is that it is super common for us folk to overwork ourselves. We work extra hours. Do the extra credit. Take the extra caseload. Always with our eye on the next ‘thing’. The next assignment. The next application. The next promotion. The next opportunity.
I know I’m not alone when I finish a task and my immediate thought is OKAY ONTO THE NEXT.
In this post I am preaching what I am trying [and getting better at practicing]. Relax, reflect, reward yourself. I wrote about the ‘reward yourself’ bit when I wrote the ‘Celebrate every step’ post but the big part I’ve been dedicating even more time into lately is the reflection piece.
How can you even comprehend what just happened when you rush onto the next? How can you acknowledge and appreciate all the time, effort, and energy you just put into something when you blow past it so quickly? When you take the time to relax and reflect – that is to look back on what just happened and think about how far you’ve come – you will experience a world of difference.
A world of difference in your gratitude.
A world of difference in your self-talk.
A world of difference in your confidence.
A world of difference in your mood for the day.
Take the time to think about how far you’ve come.
An example I’ll give you is this – Brace yourself for some real talk: I cried the whole way home for the first couple weeks of my first RD job.
Yep. It’s not what you think though… They were tears of happiness. A day after completing my internship my contract started with Acadia University, the university where I completed my undergrad, to teach one of their undergraduate courses. An absolute dream come true. Since I had to drive an hour back home after work every time, I was basically forced to relax and reflect, and with that, the tears came.
Reflecting on how far I had come since being a student at Acadia (just a mere two years prior) was astounding. Did I have shit to do when I got home? Oh yes. Was it a learning curve? Oh yes. But you know what I did when I got home those days? Put my feet up, wiped my tears away while smiling and laughing at myself, and rewarded myself with a glass of wine and some quiet time.
Did I neglect all my responsibilities? No. Did I fall behind in everything I had to do? No. But did I embody every ounce of joy that came with such an experience? Absolutely. By rushing onto the next task, the immense emotion that came with reflecting on my accomplishments never would have come out. And what a memory to have. I am sure when I look back on the experience years from now I will think to those car rides when I could hardly see through the tears.
To relax, reflect, and reward yourself doesn’t have to take long. I promise you that it will offer more benefit than it will burden, and I am so grateful for those long car rides for reminding me of that.
I challenge you to take 30 seconds of your day now to ponder this:
Where were you two years ago?
How far have you come in your skill set, mindset, experiences, and accomplishments since then?
Now, how will you reward yourself?