Happy spring! Here in Oakland, the weather is beautiful – averaging around 70 degrees every day. This time of year always makes me happy. The days are starting to get longer and there’s a feeling of renewal and success in the air. It’s the perfect time to have a bit of break from the hustle and grind of birth work.
I did my last birth of March on the 16th and I don’t have another client’s due date until early May. So I’ve had a few weeks of rest and relaxation and it’s been WONDERFUL. I haven’t had this long of a break…ever. To make the most of my off time, I’ve put together a plan to ensure a healthy balance between rest and productivity.
I’m all about self care. As a birth worker, you have to be diligent about scheduling “me time,” otherwise you’ll burn out. After every birth, I give myself a solid three days to get back on track (unless there’s another birth I get called to, of course). I actually did four births in four days in February and then, the following week, I moved apartments. Let me tell you, that was not fun. But I survived and got to have a bit of a break until my March births. Anyway, back to self care. I make sure that after every birth I sleep, eat good food, and take a hot epsom salt bath to rejuvenate. It’s safe to say I’ve scheduled lots of self-care time into my time off, but I also have some big goals to accomplish this month too.
So here’s my plan to make sure that once my rest period is done, I can look back and feel proud for all that I have (and haven’t!) done.
1. Finish my childbirth education certification! I have a few more modules to do, studying for my final assessment, and I have to do a 10 minute video too. Not to mention, finish my required reading. So, I’ve got to stay focused in order to get it all done
2. Start a 6 week fitness challenge! I signed up for a 6 week fitness challenge that includes a plant-based nutrition plan. When I met with my trainer I told him I was a big believer of self-care and he immediately said, “That includes working out, right?” and I was speechless. I never thought about working out as self care before but it 100% is. So I’m making it a goal to get my fitness back on track this month
3. Visit family! Before I need to stay close to town in mid-April (for the early May due dates) I want to head up to Redding to see my family – I haven’t seen them since January!
4. Network and meet with clients! Even though this is an “off” month, I still have meet-ups planned with clients due later this summer and am also continuing my prenatal workshops that I do every month. I’m also meeting up with other doulas to start an accountability group. I also have other networking plans to stay connected with the community (so important for birth workers) and get my name out there
5. Do my taxes! My taxes are a bit complicated this year, so I hired an accountant to help me. Organizing everything and getting everything submitted on time is quite the feat so I’ll be focusing on that in the next week or so – wish me luck
That’s it! I find that when I put my goals down they hold me more accountable. So, here’s to a restful yet productive month “off” full of work, fun, and self care.