Change your shoes.
After all, really smart people do it. Why shouldn’t you
Work Mode vs. Home Mode
Mr. Rogers was onto something when he would walk into his studio singing his song, take off his coat, put on his sweater, and change into those same blue tennis shoes he wore for who-knows-how-many-years.
He knew that, to change his mental perspective, it helped by changing his physical appearance.
When my wife wants me to “be home”, not just physically but mentally as well, she’ll tell me to go change my shoes. She knows that when I have those shoes on (the ones pictured in this post) that I’m still not settled into “home mode” yet.
Once the shoes are off, the burdens of my practice are off as well and she and the kids can expect to have my full attention.
Paul Harvey Knew What He Was Doing
Paul Harvey, the quintensential news announcer (and ultimate pitch man… I’d seriously consider buying anything Paul talked about because he sold himself, not the products) had a radio studio built into his house later in his career.
His thinking was, now I can relax while doing my news broadcast.
And that’s what he did for the first few days.
But what he found out was that the quality of his broadcasts significantly diminished. Not because of the fact that the booth was in his house, but because of the fact that he no longer was forced to dress up for the office.
He found out that doing the news in your bathrobe sounds different than doing the news in a suit and tie.
And so, every day, for the rest of his career, he would dress in a suit and tie, walk across the hallway in his house, do the news, go back to his bedroom, and change back into his casual clothes.
He understood that his attire changed his mental state and helped him get his head in the game.
The Importance Of Making A Clean Break
Being a therapist is a personally taxing job.
After all, “You’re not just making widgets.”
Despite your best efforts, some of the stories you hear are difficult to “just let go of”.
That’s why it’s important to have routines and traditions. Those tangible disciplines will create a protective barrier between your professional life and your personal life. They will help you avoid burn out, and ensure that you’ll be able to continue working for a long time to come.
Decide today to make a concerted effort to distinguish between your professional mentality and your personal mentality.
Honor your family—your husbands and wives… your children and grandchildren—and do something small to let them know that they truly have every part of you while you’re home.
Sit down, relax, and change your shoes.
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