Have you ever noticed that the first part of our being to suffer when we get tired and fatigued from taking care of everyone and everything except ourselves is our emotions? This happened to me recently and it took all of my coaching skills I could muster to help bring me back to level ground. The one coaching principle I constantly have to rely upon is this: "Remove the emotion from this situation."
This is much easier said than done! Because we are caring people who take care of others, we tend to allow emotion to overtake us and, before we know it, we are drained! Emotional Intelligence (EI) was a hot topic some years back, and has become a while science in and of itself. But really, it comes down to one simple thing. We have power over our emotions and so we have the ability to adjust, maintain, and be wise about how we use them.
Self-awareness is where it all starts. Being aware of our own emotional state and knowing how to keep it in check is essential as we interact with other people. On the flip side, acknowledging to ourselves that it's time to take a time-out to remove the emotion from life is an even more important step.
I love it when I am coaching a client and she has an "Aha!" moment as she discovers a new element about herself. Those "Aha!" moments frequently come when she gains a new insight about her emotional intelligence.
My question for you this week is this: As a caregiver, where do you feel vulnerable and how are your emotions playing out? Here's to hoping you have an "Aha!" moment this week!