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Balance & Self-Care
You have heard it a million times, “practice self-care.” In the mental health industry, most clinicians at some point feel burnt-out. It begins as students. It is critical to find a balance between work and personal life to avoid burn-out and neglect of yourself or your relationships. Some of you are making sacrifices for your future career getting in all your clinical training hours within a certain amount of terms to graduate “on time,” while juggling lots of other things such as for some a full-time day job, children, health issues, etc. But are these sacrifices the right ones or even done appropriately, and at what expense. The habits you form now as beginning clinicians (interns) most probably will continue. I get it! For some of you, perhaps more so for the non-traditional students, you are focused on finishing sooner than later (graduating), and then you will figure out how to balance work and your personal life. Note, this is not a race; at times going slower initially, can equate to obtaining goals sooner and not sacrifice your well-being. Contradiction, you think. Well, before even creating balance, there is a need for self-care, as they go hand and hand, and therefore you can potentially get to your goal sooner than later. Let’s begin by questioning, what does it mean to self-care. I would say, it is taking the time to be aware of your needs and loved ones, because the moment you tune those out things fall apart, and you might not even notice it at first as many live on automatic piolet (empty shells). But it’s easier said than done, as time seems to be racing against you (“times flies”), leaving so many hours in a day, so how do you decide how to use that time? Sure, you need to dedicate time to your clients, but what about your time? What good would you be to your clients if you neglect yourself and loved ones? Yes, sacrifices are made, and plans are agreed with even your loved to get your degree done, but you still need to check-in with yourself and your loved ones for tuning. All this sounds familiar? Of course, it does! Don’t you hear it – the subtle inner voice, “practice what you preach” and “take your own medicine.” This is your career; for you to keep your passion, to work ethically and effectively, you need to care for yourself to avoid burn-out and find balance.
- Carve out time for you to decompress
- Do something you enjoy personally/individually
- Make time for loved ones without technology interruptions
- Positive self-talk to tune out the critic telling you what you should be or do
- Self-love (affirmations)
- Practice mindfulness
- Communicate appropriately and effectively with support system about needs
Keep growing and empowering
Dr. Arias Shah
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