Self-care is an essential skill for anyone. As college students and social workers, we tend to get a lot of messages reminding us to prioritize selfcare. These messages can be helpful, but it can also be really difficult to decipher what selfcare means to you and how to find the time for it. One thing I want to stress here is that you need to find time for it, because burnout is real, and you need to take care of yourself to do this type of work.
To start the process of selfcare you should check-in with yourself to see if you have a strong mind and body connection. This connection can help you navigate selfcare because your body can usually tell you when it needs this care and what type of care would be best for it. If you find that you’re not very in tune with your body, then you may want to start with some meditation or just focusing more on your body signals throughout the day.
Something as simple as taking a break, not answering calls while off the clock, and/or not working extra hours can be really helpful in fostering selfcare. These boundaries enable you to have time to yourself where you can explore your ideal modes of selfcare. They will also assist you in understanding when you need a 5-minute break at work to breathe and center yourself.
Sometimes the thought of selfcare can be overwhelming because we already have such busy or long days. Scheduling time for yourself may feel weird, but it can be a helpful tool in supporting the boundaries you set. For example, instead of staying late at work you will have a selfcare activity scheduled for that evening.
What is your selfcare? It could be any number of things like reading, cooking, journaling, exercising, etc. It could also be something as simple as watching a movie, taking a nap, or talking to a friend. Selfcare can be anything that helps your mind and body feel cared for.