Why Do We Need Self-Care?

  • In general, self-care helps enhance our life quality, which helps us to take better care of others when we have enhanced well-being.

  • On the whole, it helps support our overall well-being and functioning.

  • It helps build our reserves, promotes resiliency, enhances our well-being, and mitigate our own personal risk factors.

  • Self-care is inherent in mental health ethical codes across the globe; we need to take good care of ourselves in order to take good care of others.

  • It is a way for us to engage in behaviors that help us to feel better physically, emotionally, and/or psychologically.

  • It prevents burnout, mitigates stress, and enhance life satisfaction. 

  • Mental health care providers are often at greater risk for compassion fatigue, burnout, and secondary (various) trauma.  Self-care can help mitigate these risks and help to reduce the effects of secondary or vicarious trauma.

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Where Can We Engage in Self-Care

 

  • We can really engage in it anywhere: at work, home, or in our car, bed, bathroom, etc.

 

  • We can truly take time to pause and engage in mindfulness, focus our attention inward to our breath, or focus our attention outward to nature.  The possibilities are endless.

When is Self-Care Important?

 

  • Self-care works best when used proactively and preventatively, as well as when we can strategize and plan for self-care ahead of time.

  • Self-care is important early on in careers, as well as throughout our life.

  • Self-care is important at all times and can be modulated based on need and prevention.

Who Should Engage in Self-Care?

  • Everyone! Self-care has so many benefits, including supporting our resiliency and mitigation of risks. 

 

  • Self-care is even more critical for earlier career mental health professionals, as they are more prone to stress and typically engage in less self-care than those who are more advanced in their career. 

How Can We Engage in Self-Care?

  • Self-care is not just about doing things for ourselves, but also about self-compassion and reflectivity.  It is critical that we have balance, are flexible, and demonstrate awareness as part of our self-care process.

 

  • Our self-efficacy can also impact our self-care performance and success with self-care.  Therefore, the more we engage in self-care and believe we are capable, the more success we will experience.

 

  • It is also important that we set self-care goals and routines to help us use self-care in a preventative and proactive manner. Horne, & Dudley, 2019).

What is Self-Care?

  • Self-care is very personal and must be relevant and meaningful for each individual.  The foundation is really making a commitment to honoring yourself and taking good care.

 

  • Self-care has been predominantly defined in two spheres: personal and professional.  Self-care includes many activities and experiences within the physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual, professional, and relational domains.

 

  • Routine and prioritizing can be very helpful during times of stress.  Further, while working remotely, it is highly beneficial to create a space of work where “what happens at the table, stays at the table,” so that we set appropriate boundaries and have healthy work-life balance.  It is important to make sure we do not mix work with our sacred sleep space and have a clearly defined boundary for where we eat, sleep, work, and relax.

 

  • Self-care also includes setting boundaries and having agency in our practice.  It is helpful if we can work with leadership in organizations to promote staff self-care, which has been shown to mitigate stress, including secondary traumatic stress. 

 

  • In addition, part of self-care is recognizing our own stressors and building awareness around how we are feeling physically, emotionally, and psychologically.

 

  • School Psychology Agency: Additionally, selecting a context for us to work where there is transformative leadership, trust, collaboration, and stability has also been found to be supportive of well-being.