Should I Be Working (as a therapist) When I'm 'Unwell'?
To work or not to work when feeling unwell, sick, in crisis, not coping or generally not yourself, that is the question and one that I get asked fairly often. Of course, this is perhaps unique to each person's situation, but there are definitely people out there who should not be working and are, and those who take a break from work and shouldn't.
How's that for an answer? Not good enough yet. So, let's think this through a little bit further here as I go back to my old standby of looking up the definition of the word work - an expenditure of energy. That's certainly interesting as we are already talking about energy here.
Then if I extend this out even more, the nature of this work makes an equal difference in this instance because some work requires more energy than others, right? Wrong. In the fields of therapy all interaction requires energy, some people are less needy that's all, so you feel less drained afterwards. However, if you are doing your job right, then each session should be the same (unless you have tiered levels of sessions) but even then, it's all the same output.
The nature of the work is important only in our minds and the level of our own resistance, lack of experience or predetermined prejudice towards certain issues and problems. Of course when we are the type of person who diligently works away on processing through our own 'stuff', we should be well aware of our own limitations.
Then we get to the area of our own energy leaks - places and spaces in our energy fields (corresponding to the body, mind and spirit) which are full of toxins and in a depleted state. If you are still living in the dark ages where energy is concerned and have refused to believe that you are leaking energy (or that ALL of your energy leaks are now gone thanks to some bio **whatever machine) great, perhaps it's best to stop reading now.
For the rest of us, we know that toxins, chemicals, poor food choices, medication, Night Shades (that's right), caffeine, alcohol, sugar and all other drugs - cause new holes and make worse any existing energy leaks. If this sounds like your diet and lifestyle, perhaps you are in the wrong field - maybe a job at McDonald's would suit you better?
For the most part, as long as we are working steadily towards (actually doing something about it) eliminating these poisons, cleaning up our diets, exercising and generally taking care of ourselves - then these leaks are healing, reversing and not getting worse. And, we will be aware once again of who and what we are and where we are at in terms of energy.
This is basic Energy Medicine, but not something that is being talked about enough. So, the answer here is clear - clean up your act and of course your health will improve and perhaps you won't be dealing with being unwell or not feeling up to the work. Otherwise, step back and think about all that you are doing and if this is the right place for you to be.
Have a lovely day,