Don’t rush your healing

Photo by Matt Paul Catalano

You know how you shouldn’t do rigorous exercise every day because your muscles need a break? Or how taking breaks during your work day can help you actually be more productive? Or how when you’re in the shower, not working, not doing anything but washing and rinsing, you’re suddenly struck with a genius idea? (I used to have a waterproof shower notepad!)

The same goes for healing. 

You need breaks to integrate what you’ve learned and gained. You need breaks in order to grow. You need breaks in order to move forward.

And these breaks aren’t just for the night, or for the weekend. Your body, your mind, your heart, your soul – they need some serious downtime to transmute the learning into magic.

Healing is not a race. 

And trying to hustle your healing just doesn’t work. 

So how do you know if you’re on the healing hustle train to burnout?

  • You feel shame, guilt and stress when you’re not doing the practices you should to work on your “healing.”
  • Healing has become a hobby, and your actions are hyper (obsessively) attuned to all things as “healing.”
  • You “should” on yourself.
  • You use healing or spirituality as a way to prove your worth to others.
  • You spend a significant amount of time daily dedicated to “healing” practices and neglect other areas of your life.
  • You aim to perfect your healing.
  • As soon as you finish one course, program or experience, you quickly dive into the next, year after year. 
  • You’re in debt because you’re paying for many courses, practitioners, or products you can’t afford.
  • You find yourself constantly seeking the next thing to find healing or enlightenment.
  • You consistently feel dissatisfied, or like you’re not good enough, happy enough, or healed enough yet.

How do you know that your healing work is in balance?

  • You incorporate practices and practitioner support regularly that demonstrably help you feel good, manage stress, or otherwise positively impact your life.
  • When you miss a day of doing “the things,” you accept it without self-judgment, even if you notice the impact. 
  • You take time to integrate what you’ve learned by incorporating it into your life consistently for more than a short period (days, weeks, in some cases months).
  • Continuing education strengthens your practice/offerings and gets you paid. (Unlike enrolling in multiple high-dollar training programs but not starting your business or integrating it into your client offerings.)
  • Your interests are diverse and life aspects (partner, kids, friends, family, work, etc) also have priority.
  • Your conversations are diverse; in other words, not every conversation requires mention of your “healing journey” even if you’re hanging out with like-minded friends.
  • You feel comfortable calling a spade a spade––“this situation sucks,” “I’m pissed off” or “I feel like crap”––without having to lean on or defend your spiritual or healing work while interacting with others. “But I know it’s all for a higher purpose.” (To be clear, there’s nothing wrong with this belief; rather, it’s the motivation behind sharing the belief or shame felt when experiencing and expressing your human-ness.)

You’re not the internet. You don’t need to know everything or hold all the information possible or produce results in .00002 seconds. Give yourself space. Settle. Learn to measure for yourself what too much feels like.

(And if social media is shoulding all over you and affecting your self-worth, turn it off. Seriously. You don’t need one more thing to heal from!)

Kara McNabb incorporates somatic therapy and traditional naturopathy to help people get to the root of their physical and emotional health struggles and find freedom.

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