With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we wanted to provide a reminder of the importance of self love and self care during this holiday, and every day. We wish everyone a very Happy Valentine’s Day and send love from our entire team. A special thank you to Clinical Director Dr. Melissa McLain for providing some insight on the necessity of self care, particularly for clinicians.
Importance of Self Care
We all have the tendency to get caught up in the day to day activities, duties, and stressors in our lives, and to lose sight of what is really important. This build up of stress and emotional strain can lead to physical, psychological, emotional, and relational difficulties. Taking some time for self care will not only provide you some stress relief, but will also enhance your ability to be the best you can be in relationships, at work, and at home.
Self Care Activities
- Read an inspirational book
- Create a gratitude journal
- Go for a calming walk and take in the nature and sights around you
- Schedule time for yourself
- Set limits and ask for what you need
- Prioritize; do what you can
- Ask for help
- Spend time with friends and loved ones
- Get enough sleep each day
- Bring out your painting supplies
- Create a self care space with beautiful flowers and a soothing candle
For the Clinician
According to Alterman (1998) common impediments to self care include emotional demands, intensity of work, countertransference, the need to maintain and instill hope, difficulty leaving work at the office, and engaging with others in the depths of their despair.
There is no single self-care strategy that conquers all distress, but practitioners must work to find their own strategies and techniques that work for them. Carroll, Gilroy & Murray (1999) have a self-care model that suggests that individuals look at self-care within themselves, within their relationships, in their relationship with their body, and through seeking professional development and supervision.
Some good questions to ask yourself, as suggested in Cheryl Richardson’s “The Art of Extreme Self-Care”, are as follows: Who do I need to turn to for support right now? Who do I need to set boundaries with? What does my body need to feel nurtured right now? What responsibilities do I need to let go of to create more space for myself? What coping skills do I need to integrate more into my day? What spiritual practices will help restore me? What do I need to feel comforted right now? How can I best identify and express my feelings? Remember, that as a practitioner, attending to your own self care needs will allow you to more fully participate in your personal and professional life.
How do you attend to your self care needs?