November 5 is Psychology week and the theme this year is Self- Care for Psychologists.
Caring for people is a precious and rewarding job and to be honest, I wouldn’t want to work in any other field. However it takes ongoing study, care, compassion, dedication and to hold others pain, trauma and difficult experiences while we motivate and move them towards healthier more functional ways of being. This is true not only of psychologists but all health professionals really. Our passion for our work in the carers’ role can often include fitting in “just one more” because someone needs it, loose boundaries around work and home and being the person that “everyone goes to” in our family and friendship groups. Our natural tendency to help can lead to never switching off, caring for everyone but ourselves and burning out.
While self- care is important for everyone, looking after oneself is especially important when you’re the carer (health professional) because when you are okay, you can continue to care for others. So for me self- care includes regular weight sessions at the gym (its cathartic), being with family and friends with whom I can be myself, laughing and being a bit silly including dropping the occasional f bomb (they say swearing is a sign of intelligence) and hiking in the bush. In effect self- care for me is to ask myself what do I feel like and giving myself permission to be/do what I need to feel good.
How do you self-care?