PRIORITIZEpersonal and professional self-care and honestly assess your psychological and physical health.
Prevention rather than Remediation
BENEFITS OF SELF-CARE
- Reduces occupational hazards such as burnout & compassion fatigue
- Helps build resilience
- Models healthy behavior for clients
- Promotes quality of caring
- Increases the capacity for empathy
- Fortifies relationships with clients and others
- Enhances self-esteem and confidence
- Contributes to realistic goal setting
AREAS TO LOOK AT:
Avoid isolation. Identify sources of social support and use them. In addition to close family members and friends, sources of social support might include local groups or spiritual organizations, for example.
Establish and maintain professional connections that offer an opportunity to discuss the specific nature and stressors of your work.
Consider when it may be helpful or necessary to tap into peer support groups or consultation, make connections with colleagues through professional associations or engage in online support groups or have more online sessions with your psychotherapist.
Pay attention to possible warning signs such as feelings of helplessness, emotional swings, tendency to ruminate, loss of empathy or disconnecting from family and friends.
Take occupational risks seriously. If necessary, educate yourself more fully about topics such as professional burnout, vicarious traumatization, compassion fatigue and colleague assistance. Develop realistic and reasonable expectations about work and your capabilities at any given time. Make appropriate accommodations or adjustments.
Pay attention to the need for balance in work, rest and play. If your schedule is packed, be prepared to say “no” to additional demands on your time. Take vacations or other appropriate breaks from work. WORK, PLAY, EXERCISE, CONNECT WITH THE SPIRITUAL IN NATURE, USE VISUALIZATIONS, MEDITATIONS.
Monitor carefully the substances and/or processes you use for relaxation or entertainment.
Pursue opportunities for intellectual stimulation, including some outside the profession. Nurture interests apart from your work.Take steps to enhance your career satisfaction. Perhaps diversify professional activities...Some find it stimulating to combine different works.
Adopt a long-range perspective, recognizing that you likely will have different needs at various stages of your career. Beginning to engage in self-care practices can help them become a habit.Self-care activities should be tailored to your individual circumstances and needs.
The pointers above are intended as healthy food for thought to help you develop a personal action plan that works for you.
THIS TIME IS ALSO AN OPPORTUNITY TO LEAVE BEHIND WHAT IS NOT NEEDED AND CONCENTRATE ON THE ESSENTIAL OF THE MEANING IN LIFE.