Saturday, February 13, 2016
SELF-CARE! It's What's for Dinner!
I know, I know....
It's been quite a long time since I've posted anything in this blog. I'd like to chalk it up to being very busy with Faculty work, Counseling work, writing a fictional novel, or spending time with family...and while that's true, I know there have been many times over the past few months where I thought to myself, "Hey, I just got a great idea to blog about...I'll do that tomorrow." I say the same thing about exercising, too. So, as a comeback message, I want to talk briefly on the value of selfcare. Yes, I made those two words one word, because it fits the need for it. The idea of selfcare is so paramount as a mental health practitioner that it deserves notoriety.
What is selfcare? I'm glad you asked. It is the time out of every day that you take or set aside to selfishly care for your mental, emotional, physical, or spiritual self. It is what recharges your batteries, fills your emotional bucket, aligns your Chi, etc. It is also one of those things that many of us just don't do. Why, you ask? Because, that whole "practice what you preach" thing for mental health counselors is not a strong point. We tend to follow the Westernized value of "work, work, work" for tomorrow we die. One might say that we can be the antithesis of the 7 Dwarves who try to whistle their way through working to make the day a little brighter. We forget the whistling and just work. What can it result in? Burn-out. Compassion fatigue. Bitterness. Loss of relationships to name a few. Or, it can lead to a feeling of drudgery.
Oh, this doesn't just happen to counselors. It can happen to anyone who doesn't take the time to care for themselves. So, whether it's reading a book, watching your favorite show on Netflix at night, taking a hot bath, or just relaxing, make sure to put as much effort into your selfcare as you do your work. Do it every day, even if you don't believe you have the time. Then, after doing it for a few days, reflect on how it affects your day-to-day. You may see the difference.
Until next time...