Self-care is a crucial part of finding and achieving balance in life. I’ve blogged about this recently, here. Self-care is important for everyone, but especially important for caregivers, whether in a family role or professional role. Some people who routinely overlook self-care include family caregivers, clergy, teachers, nurses, social workers, and those in other caring, service, and nurturing roles.
On future Self-Care Saturdays, using “anxiety” as our continued example, I’ll share research-based information on the importance of self-care, and maybe even make suggestions for developing a self-care plan for yourself. I’ll discuss how self-care and anxiety are related, and how self-care can help you to manage the symptoms of anxiety.
Self-care is such an overlooked concept, Google doesn’t even have a definition when I searched for one. I found a definition that really sums up the concept at the University at Buffalo School of Social Work website:
“Self-care refers to activities and practices that we can engage in on a regular basis to reduce stress and maintain and enhance our short- and longer-term health and well-being. Self-care is necessary for your effectiveness and success in honoring your professional and personal commitments (2017).”
I must admit that I’m a little partial to this definition, as it reflects social work’s principle of self-care, and I’m social worker. I’m a nurse as well, and although we touched on self-care in nursing school, it was not emphasized as it is in the social work profession. This is unfortunate. It is my belief that nurses will suffer higher rates of professional burnout and compassion fatigue due to the lack of emphasis on self-care. I performed an internet-based research on nursing, and the peer-reviewed articles I found suggested the same thing, nurses do not routinely practice self-care. I hope, no matter your profession or life role, that you practice self-care. Caring for yourself will help you continue to care for others.
How do you currently self-care?
self-care. (2017). At University at Buffalo School of Social Work. Introduction to self-care. Retrieved from: http://socialwork.buffalo.edu/resources/self-care-starter-kit/introduction-to-self-care.html