Updated: Jul 8, 2021
Exercise daily, eat healthy meals, meditate, take time off! Does this sound familiar to you?
I'm sure in session, many times before, you have said to your clients that practicing good self-care is extremely important. However, do you take time each day to indulge in your self-care? I know between home life and work-life it may seem impossible but, you know more than anyone that it isn't always as easy as it may seem.
For you, as a therapist, it can be hard. Here are 3 simple tips, gathered by many therapists, that may help when it comes to taking better care of yourself.
Self-Care Tip #1: Take Care of Your Physical Health
What is "physical health" and why is it important?
Physical health is simply taking care of your body...
This may be as simple as going to the doctors when you aren't feeling well or as committed as going to the gym daily or even going on a nice afternoon walk. Either way, your physical health is just as important as your client's. It is actually quite easier to implement than you may think. Start with simple steps like yoga during small breaks between sessions or performing some office stretches. Also, take the time to make the call to schedule an appointment when you aren't feeling well. Don't wait till the last minute, when you start experiencing physical health problems, or tell yourself you will get better after 2 weeks. I find that planning my day beforehand helps me to put self-care into my schedule. Sounds bad right? I have to literally write in my calendar at 10:15 am call your doctor to schedule an appointment so that I actually do it. However, do what works for you to make it happen. Your health is just that, YOUR HEALTH!
Self-Care Tip #2: Take Care of Your Basic Needs
What is one basic need that we all are familiar with? EATING!
I find many times I don't ever include scheduled meals for myself. Either I don't bring snacks or lunch for myself or I don't have the time in the day. Then by 4 pm, I wonder why I am drained and don't have an ounce of energy left in my body. I oftentimes don't even drink enough water in the day. I know this is going to sound sad but I have a reminder on my phone daily to remember to drink water. After landing a day in the hospital for dehydration I told myself I would never let that happen again.
Self-Care Tip #3: Take A Mental Break
Avoid burnout. Take a break. This may mean sticking to your schedule so that you don't overwhelm yourself. It also may mean you need to look at your year ahead of time and plan in advance a few vacations. How do I take a daily mental break? Take time every day to eat, read a book, listen to your favorite song, doodle, take a walk or meditate. It is important that you do not feel overwhelmed or else you could burn yourself out. If you are stressed can you really perform at 100%? I know I sure can't. Set boundaries and stick to them.
What did we learn? To not forget the little things in life. Our Health, Eating, and Vacations are great points to self-care. What else can we incorporate in our day-to-day lives to make to take care of ourselves? Here are a few things other therapists say they do to contribute to self-care:
Keep work at home
Get restful sleep
Schedule a lunch date
Go to weekly bible study
Take a walk between sessions
Listen to a podcast
Get a massage
Go to therapy
Take a class
Learn something new
If you feel like you do not have time for self-care, MAKE time! My clients all have time for self-care because they have me to take care of all of the little things so that they can focus on what matters to them. If you think having a VA will give you more self-care time, send me an email. I would love to help you take time for yourself. Now go relax and make sure you eat lunch today! :)
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