Self care may be the most important and hardest thing you MUST learn to do as a social worker. Personally, I learned to do it while holding down a full time job; however, doing it as a student has been rather challenging. Each quarter I’ve set the goal to work out 4-5 days per week for at least one hour per day. The first quarter I did well for 6 weeks before the pressure of schoolwork overcame my motivation to get up and to the gym at 5 am. As the second quarter starts, I’ve recruited a fellow student who also has made a commitment to herself to stay in the gym. Together, we’ve set a work out schedule and have promised to motivate each other to keep going.
Self care doesn’t have to come in the form of working out or physical activity. Self care means different things for each person. Other students practice yoga, walk, have dinner/drinks with friends, go to movies, visit the mountains (perfect time of year for snow shoeing, skiing and snowboarding), museums, concerts, etc.
Self care is instrumental in your success as a social worker. As “helpers” we sometimes forget to care for ourselves–learn to be your top priority! Caring for yourself allows you to care for others in a more meaningful and energized way, creates balance in your life and renews your spirit.