Self-Care and You
Living in the United States during a time of the global pandemic, with political unrest and division, bombarding news images, stories, and social media feeds, is indeed exhausting and stressful.
While most of the world has been focused on the presidential election, others have been concerned about their jobs, health, racism, grades, or the effects of global warming. In my last few blogs, I’ve talked about burnout, compassion fatigue, the importance of boundaries, and today, self-care.
When I ask clients if they have made self-care a priority in their lives, most say “no.” Many say they do not have time, or that self-care takes too much effort. However, when I ask them if they are satisfied with their lives, self-care is typically one of the most important skills they are missing. According to Michelle King, self-care is about “refueling ourselves so we can continue our work, drawing boundaries so we can stay whole, giving ourselves permission to feel and pursue joy, and pausing to take a breath so we do not collapse.”
So how do we practice self-care? She identifies three steps:
- Know when you need it (awareness)
- Make a list of your self-care options (toolbox)
- Commit to practicing self-care (just do it)
Lynn Wonders, play therapy supervisor of Wonders Counseling Services advocates for therapists to create a self-care plan (annually, quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily).
Imagine if you devoted this same attention to your own care. What would be different in your life?
Lynn describes several considerations for practicing self-care for therapists, however, this list applies to anyone. These include:
- Relaxation Exercises- body scan, breathing exercises, yoga, and tightening/relaxing muscle
- Taking time to rest deeply
- Taking a soaking bath with candles, music, essential oils
- Regular daily exercise
- Take time to be out in nature
- Drink a mindful cup of tea or coffee
- Eat nutritiously
- Practice meditation
- Read a book of fiction for fun
- Spend time with your pet
Self-care is the single most effective thing you can do to feel better, right now. Need more inspiration, contact me at SHCS.