From the MASSAGE Magazine article titled “Living in Balance: How to Develop a Healthy Relationship with Your Massage Practice,” by Jo-Ann Svensson in the August 2008 issue. Article summary: It’s possible to be codependent with your career. Here, find out if you are or not—and if so, how to stop that cycle of self-abuse.

1. Begin constructing boundaries for yourself. If you are a solid 24/7 worker, contemplate taking a two hour work-free break during the week, working up to an eventual two-day weekend. Make it an appointment you pen, not pencil, into your agenda.

2. Try having a totally unplanned day. Do things only as the impulse moves you. This could mean anything from lying in bed all day to getting into the car and driving wherever your curiosity leads you. However, if the impulse to work moves you, notice what comes up when you decide not to follow it.

3. Notice how you feel throughout the day. Are you tired, lonely, sad? What can you do to care for yourself in that moment? Alternatively, are you joyful, proud, excited? How can you celebrate those feelings?

4. Honor at least one achievement you make every day, whether it be getting up without setting the snooze alarm, finishing off a long- due report or taking a two-hour, work-free break.

5. Get guidance through professional mentorship, such as a veteran bodyworker you respect. This can help you maintain healthy boundaries within your practice, and sets the stage for seeing it in real terms.

6. Surround yourself with supportive and safe friends who understand the challenges you face and can provide healthy reality checks.

7. Join a Codependents Anonymous group. Although not for everyone, these groups can be extremely supportive while you navigate the sometimes turbulent waters of codependency.

8. Get regular counseling. A qualified therapist can help you safely explore past issues that set the stage for codependency .

9. Start reading. There are numerous books on codependence. Check out the reference list at the end of this article to help launch your way.

10. Above all, be compassionate and patient with your self. Codependence is about a part of us not feeling good about who we are. It took time to make us feel that way, it will take time to feel different. But know every step you take towards valuing your emotions; setting up healthy boundaries and living life in present terms, is a giant leap away from codependency.

—Jo-Ann Svensson

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