Doing the doula and taking care of yourself
As I sit here typing this, the sun is (finally!) shining outside of my window and I finally feel like my Vitamin D supplement is kicking in. However, I'm also sitting here working through some anxiety. The DONA birth doula certification process is no joke-- as it should be. It's challenging and forces me outside of my comfort zone in a good + hard way. I've been reaching out to several different birth doula agencies and volunteer organizations with little response, which can be discouraging at times. I've been reading and writing and doing more reading. On top of that, I have work I need to complete for school. I often wonder when I will even finish my certification. It's easy to get discouraged, and even frustrated, when an agency doesn't respond or you are met with a "Sorry, we're not hiring..." response.
Something I'm challenging myself to do is practicing self-care throughout this process. Sometimes, it looks like putting down the pregnancy book I'm reading and watching an episode of Friends or taking a hot shower break in the middle of working on my labor support essay. Myself, and many other healthcare professionals, tend to be chronic overachievers with big dreams. I have to constantly remind myself that I cannot achieve, nor reach my goals, without taking care of myself first. This trumps all. If I do not take care of myself, I cannot take care of others well. Period. If this sounds like you, please take heart in the fact that you are not alone! We need to remind ourselves that the certification process will not last forever, and once we're officially certified, it will all be worth it. BUT. Do not forget about yourself. Do not forget about that part of you that wants to go out for ice cream or hang out with your friends. I find that taking breaks makes me much more productive once I return to work, and I encourage you to try taking frequent breaks if you haven't already. And remember: You've got this!!!!