Don’t tell me to breathe….

I’ll admit, I’m not a fan of relaxation exercises, it makes me more annoyed than anything.
Ironically enough this semester I’m taking a course titled: Mindfulness and Acceptance.

As you can imagine, having to do mindfulness exercises for homework irritates me since I was already annoyed by my teacher last semester having us start the class with ten minutes of relaxation techniques every week.

I know what to do in order to relax, I know what I enjoy doing and how to calm myself down when need be, so I really get annoyed when someone tells me we have to do it for an assignment. I don’t know why, but it’s probably the fact that I find it a waste of time, even though I know as a future clinical social worker I’ll have to use these techniques with my clients.

As my teacher said, “never tell a client to do something you’re not willing to do yourself”. I find this to be such an accurate statement when it comes to these techniques I have to learn to accept throughout the semester.

My classmates love it because it’s a ten minute break from class really, but for me, I find it a waste of time, and want to remind the teacher were paying for the course material not to sit and breathe.. But again, this time it’s actually a valid activity with this course.

This is going to be a struggle.

 

Going back to what you know best

So I’m not afraid to admit that a few months back I was straight up exhausted, and checked out from life.

Dealing with another break up, school not being motivating enough for me, people just not being who I know them to be, it all got really frustrating. So I took a break.

I took a break from putting all my energy into the people who weren’t willing to put it into me, I took a break from trying to impress men, I took a break from school work (which probably wasn’t the best idea, but I was just so over the b.s. they were making us work through.). It’s not that the work was too hard, I was just drained.

Dealing with a bullying situation at my internship took a toll on me more than I expected, because I felt like a failure when the kiddos I was seeing were in my social skills group, learning ways to improve themselves in the end still bullied one of my other clients bad enough to where he didn’t want to return to school.
I had failed him, he didn’t feel safe, and the boys that bullied him weren’t willing to take responsibility. This infuriated me, to the point where I was happy to not work with them again. They would ask me “when are we getting another boys group going?” and I responded with “I’ll let you know when I can set one up, if it’s not too late”, where I really wanted to yell at them “you don’t deserve to be in another group after what you did because you clearly didn’t learn anything I was trying to teach you”. I was able to talk to them about their actions, and one boy ended up feeling remorseful, whereas the other tried to put the blame on the client that he had bullied.

So yeah, I felt like I had failed, my one group had to be dismantled because of this, and I wasn’t able to find a better situation for them. I worked with two of the boys for the rest of the year, but in the end, I wasn’t happy with the result.

My solution to this was to show up, and find other things to focus on at my internship, I was doing well with a few other clients, and this did help even out my emotional state, but not as much as I had thought.

When I get into this state I stop to care, and I do what I want; I don’t take great care of myself and I make careless choices at times like going out on a night I know I have to be up really early the next day, and feeling exhausted when I get there.

So how did I fix this state I was in? Well let me tell you. I went back to something I knew best: working with horses.

I had met a trainer at a convention in February, and I realized I finally was done not being around horses as much as I was used to. So I gave them a call, and I was offered to go up to their facility and meet the clients and a job to work the next horse show. I was hesitant because I didn’t know any of the clients, but it all fell into place, and I’m still helping out once or twice a week, and at a horse show next week.

You can read almost anywhere the benefits of working around horses, or animals in general. For me, I grew up from the age of 3 around them. It’s like second nature to me, I could probably ride a horses easier than I could tie someones shoe lace, that’s how easy it is for me.
I found that I was becoming much happier, more structured, because you have time limits and a certain task you’re trying to accomplish with the horse, you start utilizing this mind-set in everyday life again. I was relaxed again, I started caring about school work because I wanted to end the year strong and make sure I had enough time to help at the barn on my days off.
I’ve been horse sitting, yes it’s exactly like dog sitting, where you feed and take care of them. It’s been good for me because I have to be up early to feed them around 7 am and back to feed dinner around 5, as well as the daily maintenance they require.

So if there is anything I learned from this, it was to make sure you don’t forget who you are, and what you’re best at. I remember how much enjoyment riding horses brought to me growing up, and how much damage I can have emotionally from being cut off or limiting myself more than I need to. If you’re struggling, find that one thing that grounds you and brings you back to the reason you were doing it in the first place. For The Pure Joy It Brings You.