It’s okay to allow ourselves to take a break once in a while.
“As women, we tend to push ourselves to work hard. We tend to put others first before ourselves,” Sherry Campbell told about 200 people that attended the International Women’s Day Networking Luncheon Friday. The annual event, which was held at Cherry Hill Golf Club in Ridgeway, is hosted by the Greater Fort Erie Chamber of Commerce.
“We need to remember to take care of ourselves, mind, body and soul. We should not take care of people before we take care of ourselves. We cannot give what we do not have,” Campbell said.
“If we take care of ourselves, everyone else will benefit more.”
Campbell, psychotherapist and owner of Sherry Campbell Counselling Services, reminded women that it’s okay to step off of “the treadmill of life” for a moment to “take a breath of fresh air," which is something most women don't do very often.
Between working full-time jobs, child care and other responsibilities, Campbell said many women often forget to take time for themselves.
Campbell, who lives in Ridgeway with her family, is a registered social worker, a registered member of the Ontario Association of Consultants, Counsellors, Psychometrists and Psychotherapists, and holds a Master’s Degree in Psychology from Brock University.
She was a clinical psychotherapist with the Niagara Health System for 16 years before she opened her own practice in Fort Erie.
Campbell, who will celebrate her 50th birthday in a few weeks, didn’t always feel confident.
As a newly divorced mom of two young children, Campbell recalled feeling unsure of her future.
Campbell had to find a solution that would fulfill her while putting food on the table.
It wasn’t always easy, but with her family’s support, Campbell went back to school.
She said there are “always options” in life and although these options aren’t always favourable, it’s important to keep moving forward.
As Campbell completed her studies, she “didn’t feel stuck” anymore.
“I learned that I can be independent and self sufficient. I started to feel my personal power.”
When she graduated from university, Campbell knew she wanted to open her own practice.
“I always kept that (idea) back in my mind and tucked there.”
When she decided to leave her job at the NHS, Campbell knew she was leaving behind her job security, her vacation time and her pension to open her own practice.
Campbell knew it was what she wanted to do.
Although her family was shocked, Campbell said her loved ones supported her again, this time as she transitioned into becoming a business woman.
Campbell admits being an entrepreneur “isn’t glamorous” but she has achieved her dream.
Life has thrown her a few curveballs, including divorce and recently, the death of her parents.
But life throws everyone obstacles.
“We all survive adversity, and obstacles,” Campbell said. “Don’t ever settle in life, or in your career. It doesn’t matter what life throws at you. You can deal with it.”
According to Campbell, there are no mistakes in life, only lessons and people must take them one at a time.
“Life will send you many, many lessons. When one lesson is learned, life will send you more.”