I have always been ambivalent about assigning homework and reading between treatment sessions. If you can do it, it’s a great thing as it speeds up treatment and decreases the number of sessions that you’re probably likely to need. The trouble is that occasionally, I feel like assigning homework is like setting a few individuals up for failure….sort of…
I mean, you can’t truly fail in treatment. I am actually okay if folk don’t get the reading done because I will show you in the session the easy way to do whatever it was I wanted you to read. That having been said, it can still feel a bit like a little failing to the individual coming to see me (even though it truly, truly is okay with me – I get how busy folk are).
Life is full of these small screw ups and they can get pretty overwhelming.
We all know we should work out….but we don’t.
We all know we should eat better…but we don't.
We know we shouldn't wait until the very last minute to do our taxes….but we do not.
The list could go on and on.
The path to self-development appears to be paved with all these shoulds and more things to add to an already hectic timetable. That disconnect between where you are and were you'd like to be is a place that's frequently crammed with a good deal of agony and self-recrimination.
Instead of trying to figure out the best way to be a better person, it can often be more useful to consider what would make you a more happy person. Sounds more fun also , doesn't it?
Take something stressed off of your plate. Meet a friend for coffee (or call a chum if you're restricted timewise). Listen to a uplifting piece of music. Take five from the office and get some fresh air.
All of these little things truly add up and they're regularly the first thing many cognitive behavioral therapists will get you started on because they make such a gigantic impact vis your mood.
Fret about the bigger changes once you get your energy moving in the right direction. No-one has each made any positive changes when they're fully drained, burned out or are beating themselves up for not having the ability to do more.
Treat yourself with kindness, get some rest, have a chuckle and then you will be in the right frame of mind to come up with a plan that may truly suit you rather than setting some impractical and impossible set of goals which will leave you feeling worse off than before you started.