1. Get Inspired
It is hard to give to others what you don’t have. Take some essential me time and do whatever inspires you. See a concert, an art exhibit, or a Broadway Musical.
Take a hike or go to the ocean. Light some candles, play your favorite songs, and quietly reflect on the highs of your year.
2. Watch a Birth Movie
There are so many great birth films that you can watch online. You learn so much about women’s history and about the power of birth from birth movies. Here are two great ones:
The Timeless Way
3. Read a New Book
Set aside time to read a book about childbirth and other parallel subjects that you’ve not yet read. It could be about technique, research, or a biography.
Here’s a few good ones:
- Laboring: Stories of a New York City Midwife by Ellen Cohen
- Monique and the Mango Rains: Two years with a midwife in Mali by Kris Holloway
- Heart and Hands 5th edition by Elizabeth Davis
- Birthing From Within by Pam England
4. Learn Something New
Take a training or workshop on a topic you don’t know that much about. It’s so refreshing and sometimes scary to pick up a new skill. Try it! For example: prenatal yoga techniques, placenta encapsulation, rebozo techniques, creating a web site, creating an app, photography, business skills, etc.
5. Share or Use New Information
Evaluate the information that you share or use in your practice caring for expecting families and start sharing something new that you have never shared before, such as the latest statistics or facts about the amazing power of women’s bodies to give birth. Or start to use a technique that you’ve never used before such as hypnosis, a rebozo, vocalization, etc.
6. Work Your Contacts
Do some old fashioned networking. This might mean having coffee with other childbirth professionals in your community, or simply sending emails or contacting professionals and families through social media. Reach out! You will be surprised by what can happen. It is so good to stay connected.
7. What’s up with your income?
So are you satisfied with how much you’re making? If not then evaluate how you can increase your income. Don’t sell yourself short. If you are employed talk to your supervisor about a raise, or start searching for new opportunities.
If you work for yourself raise your fees. A 10-15% increase may really make a difference in your satisfaction and not dissuade clients from hiring you. If you don’t ask for it, then you won’t get it.
8. How’s your website?
So do you have a website? If not you really must get started on that. You are missing out on so many opportunities without a website.
And if you do have a website, have you updated it recently? A website is so important to communicate to the world who you are and what your business is about. It is crucial to keep it updated and it’s overall look fresh and appealing.
9. How is your career?
Are you where you want to be? Are you really doing the work that you are called to? Have you been thinking about going back to school, but something keeps preventing that. Then read the next tip…
10. What do you want?
As they say, there is no time like the present. What do you want to do, see, or obtain? Make a list of your hopes and dreams and pursue them. Sometimes the simple act of writing them down will bring them into fruition. Keep this list in an accessible place and read it from time to time. You will be surprised how things will come into being without your realization and you will soon be able to cross them off your list.
11. Mentor someone
Every childbirth professional got started with the help of someone else. Take the time to help some one that is just getting started. If you are new to the field, then help someone newer then you. Share what you know so far. Don’t let mentoring overwhelm you. All that someone may need is a listening ear. However, don’t underestimate how much wisdom you have that others can benefit from.
How about sharing your wisdom by writing teaching tips or doula advice. You can write these as posts to your Facebook or Twitter account. We are happy to have you email us any wisdom that you wish to share with others, and we can include it on our blog.
There is also that elusive step of writing a book. Think about it. Start small and just write a pamphlet or ebook that be downloaded.
13. Be a Simple Activist
We all know that a lot needs to change regarding childbirth healthcare practices. Be part of the change. Sign online petitions. Attend a meeting for your local birth collective. Join your state doula or midwifery group. This year plan to celebrate, wear a pin, or attend an event for World Breastfeeding Week, National Midwifery Week, or World Doula Week.
14. Try New Gadgets
What is that birth tool, teaching supply, or tech gadget that you have heard about or not heard about? Okay stop with all the excuses and give it a try.
I keep seeing this head massager that looks interesting. I recently saw it at the office store for $1.99 so I’m going to buy it and give it a go.
What have you not tried? Make sure to keep up with the latest tools. You do own a smart phone, iPad, or tablet and have downloaded the latest apps : )