Advocacy can be challenging, exhausting work.
For the past 15 years, Terry has worked in an animal shelter. She cares deeply about the animals, her coworkers, and people who adopt the animals.
There have been ups and downs over the years, but lately, she feels stuck and a little scared.
The things that used to make her feel better--going for bike rides with her kids, taking her dog for a hike in the woods, talking to her best friend on the phone--aren't really working any longer. She's still doing those things, but they're not filling her up. It's not enough.
She’s also been having trouble sleeping. She gets into bed, turns off the light, and then replays the day in her head, wondering if she did enough, said the right things, or missed any important details. Invariably, she finds something to beat herself up for.
She's taken to counting backwards from 300 by sevens as a way to fall asleep. This usually works for her because it gives her mind something to focus on as she slows her breathing down. But when she wakes up, she still feels tired.
Terry could benefit from consultation, a guided, confidential conversation that focuses on her work and ways she can balance the needs of work with her own personal needs.
Talking with someone who is trained to hear her stories, talk them through with her, and help her find a path forward that feels effective, productive, and doable would make all the difference in the world.
This week on UNLEASHED (at work & home), Allison Leslie, LCSW, talked with me about "consultation" and its many benefits:
- Less burnout
- More engagement
- Greater creativity
- Less sense of isolation
- Increased joy and ability to see meaning in your work
- More FUN
That’s a win by any measure.
Consultation can be one-on-one (like in coaching calls) or done as part of a small group. The key is that it be a safe place to share your truth, knowing that the participants have your back and want what’s best for you.
You’ll be amazed at how having this support will allow you to ease the burden of your work and find ways to develop stronger and more effective skills so you can continue making a difference without burning yourself out.
Links worth clicking
- Alison's bio on the University of Denver's Institute for Human-Animal Connection
- Cairns Healing
- Dr. Leslie Stewart's episode on vicarious trauma
- Subscribe to UNLEASHED (at work & home) on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or Stitcher
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