Nourishing Your Self-Care

Self-Care is vital. You miss or neglect it, you break down. You get ill. You experience unhappiness.

There are known effective ways or strategies to maintain self-care. I'm thinking of some specifics below where we may need to actively work on to improve and maintain our self-care.

Assess and get ready to better self-care.

Physical Self-Care:

* Eat regularly (e.g. breakfast, lunch and dinner) 

* Eat healthy 

* Exercise 

* Get regular medical care for prevention 

* Get medical care when needed 

* Take time off when needed 

* Get massages 

* Dance, swim, walk, run, play sports, sing, or do some other physical activity that is fun 

* Take time to be sexual with your spouse.
* Get enough sleep 

* Wear clothes you like 

* Take vacations 

* Take day trips or mini-vacations 

* Make time away from telephones and gadgets 

Psychological Self-Care:

* Make time for self-reflection
* Have your own personal psychotherapy
* Write in a journal
* Read literature that is unrelated to work
* Do something at which you are not expert or in charge
* Decrease stress in your life
* Let others know different aspects of you
* Notice your inner experience—listen to your thoughts, judgments, beliefs, attitudes, and feelings
* Engage your intelligence in a new area, e.g. go to an art museum, history exhibit, 
sports event, auction, theater performance
* Practice receiving from others
* Be curious
* Say “no” to extra responsibilities sometimes

Emotional Self-Care:

* Spend time with others whose company you enjoy 

* Stay in contact with important people in your life 

* Give yourself affirmations, praise yourself 

* Love yourself 

* Re-read favorite books, re-view favorite movies 

* Identify comforting activities, objects, people, relationships, places and seek them out 

* Allow yourself to cry 

* Find things that make you laugh 

* Express your outrage in social action, letters and donations, marches, protests 

* Play with children 

Spiritual Self-Care:

* Make time for reflection 

* Spend time with nature 

* Find a spiritual connection or community 

* Be open to inspiration 

* Cherish your optimism and hope 

* Be aware of nonmaterial aspects of life 

* Try at times not to be in charge or the expert 

* Be open to not knowing 

* Identify what in meaningful to you and notice its place in your life 

* Meditate 

* Pray 

*  Sing 

* Spend time with children 

* Have experiences of awe 

* Contribute to causes in which you believe 

* Read inspirational literature (talks, music, etc.) 

Work Self-Care:

* Take a break during the workday (e.g. lunch) 

* Take time to chat with co-workers 

* Make quiet time to complete tasks 

* Identify projects or tasks that are exciting and rewarding 

* Set limits with your clients and colleagues 

* Balance your caseload so that no one day or part of a day is “too much” 

* Arrange your work space so it is comfortable and comforting 

* Get regular supervision or consultation 

* Negotiate for your needs (benefits, pay raise) 

* Have a peer support group 

* Develop a non-trauma area of professional interest 

* Strive for balance within your work-life and workday 

* Strive for balance among work, family, relationships, play and rest