Maintaining Good Self-care Practices

After reading Chapter 10 in the Cormier text, complete Application Exercise 10.4, “Self-Care,” on pages 236–237. Respond to the questions and describe your application experiences. Post your answers to this discussion. APPLICATION EXERCISE 10.4 Self-Care Questions that beginning helpers might revisit regularly in the service of developing and maintaining good self-care practices include the following: Do I meet my body’s needs for healthy nourishment over the course of the day? Do I make time for physical activity at least a couple of times per week? Do I take time to stretch and move about between clients or tasks? Do I take time to clear my mind between clients or tasks? Do I recognize when I am feeling stressed? Do I implement strategies for addressing stress? Do I meet my sleep needs most nights in terms of quantity and quality? Do I nurture close relationships in my personal life? Do I maintain a network of trusted colleagues with whom to consult? Do I have one or more persons to confide in or debrief with? Do I reach out to others when feeling anxious, worried, or stressed? Have I made room for humor in my life? Have I made room for play in my life? Do I have interests and hobbies outside my professional life? Have I allocated adequate time to engage in these leisure pursuits? Do I derive significant fulfillment from my work? Have I set boundaries that permit me to separate my personal and professional life spheres? Have I made time to be totally unplugged from technology? Have I identified short-term and long-term personal life goals? Do I have a plan for pursuing my personal goals? Have I identified short-term and long-term professional life goals? Do I have a plan for pursuing my professional goals? Do I regularly reaffirm a sense of passion and purpose across all life domains (so that there is more than a professional focus)? Have I recognized and accepted that I cannot be masterful in all areas of knowledge and skill in my helping profession even if I devote my whole career to this endeavor? Have I recognized and accepted that I will not be successful, to the degree that I’d like, with every client? Have I articulated a self-care plan? Do I review this plan periodically and revise it to reflect my current personal and professional life circumstances? If I were to have a conversation with a client about his or her self-care, what would we be discussing? Feedback Beginning helpers are encouraged to reflect on and explore options for addressing not only the no responses to these questions but also the yes responses. These and additional helper-generated questions could be constructed in a manner amenable to a rating scale format that would assist in the tracking of self-care. Alternatively, the questions might serve as a pre- and postmeasure, self-administered on either end of the implementation of a self-care plan comprising a manageable number of specific self-care goals.

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