Over New Year I spent some time with special friends. While walking the pups, Phillip asked me what was the main DBT skill I used. Immediately, I replied ‘Emotional Regulation’. I then went on to pontificate about the importance of keeping myself well… avoiding crisis, averting issues and generally making sure I’m ‘topped’ up.
The last few days have made it abundantly clear that the words are a lot easier to say than live!
Readers will know I am a Head Teacher of an Independent School that I co-own. Term has started back two days ago but things really took on some critical intensity from Thursday/Friday of last week. The details of the events are unimportant for this purpose. Suffice to say, as the heat went up my emotional regulation went plummeting down.
I’ve eaten rubbish by the bucket load (and only rubbish) – pizza, chocolate and biscuits basically . I’ve drunk coke by the litre. I’ve hardly slept. I’ve medicated myself in front of the tele. I’ve spent money that I shouldn’t have. My Christmas decorations haven’t been put away. Bills have been unpaid. My medication had run out and I hadn’t renewed the prescription.My anxiety over leaving the pups has been the highest ever. Its been pretty appalling. I then wonder why I feel so incredibly sluggish and awful! It really isn’t rocket science some times…
Today, I woke up literally and metaphorically. Time for the pity party to stop. I was able to give myself the shake I needed. I can’t just look after my health in the holidays. I need to grow in my capacity to emotionally regulate even when I’m busy. I know that emotional regulation isn’t optional… it’s essential. So this afternoon, I packed the decs away. I cooked some food for supper. I emptied the car. I filled a box of decluttering for a charity shop drop. I can’t face the humiliation of hockey at the moment but I did go for another run yesterday.
So as I look ahead to a busier term than usual, I’ve got to get organised. The only way I can eat healthy is to have food in the house and prep my food in advance. I’ve got to pack my bag the night before an early start- to ease the morning stress. I’ve got to ration my TV watching. I can’t have coke or bread in the house. And its not just about operation survival, I want it to be operation flourish.
Thankfully, I’ve only had a few poor days- I’ve seen it now and I am going to practice what I preach. Emotional Regulation all the way!
Thanks for listening