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The Importance of Self Care in Social Work

As I begin my concentration level practicum, I made a conscience decision to reflect on my current self-care practices and create a plan to implement these practices on a consistent basis. During my last practicum I was unsuccessful in implementing any form of self-care practices and I found myself absolutely depleted by the end of the term. Therefore, I knew it was crucial for me to go into my next internship with a realistic self-care action plan.

There’s not a specific plan for every one of us because we each have individual needs, interests, and lifestyles. In creating a self-care plan I wanted to incorporate components that formed balance in my personal and professional life. Those components for me are body, mind, and soul. For me this means that my plan must consist of activities that are good for my physical and psychological health, emotional and spiritual needs, and relationships.

I was able to determine which strategies were less or more effective when it comes to my well-being, in terms of negative versus positive techniques, by completing a self-care assessment. The assessment not only highlighted the strategies I currently use but gave me additional ideas to incorporate to my plan. It is especially important to have a variety of things in your self-care plan, as a means to keep you interested in maintaining your plan.

The next step in creating your plan is to detect probable impediments that could prevent you from executing or sustaining the activities. For instance, in reviewing my self-care plan I realized some of my activities conflicted with household commitments. Had I not noticed this before-hand I would have easily stated my plan just not doing the activity at all. However, since I detected this sooner, I was able to make adjustments to allow for me to follow through with my plan. Another notable factor in maintaining your plan is that it is not something that is set in stone. It should be revised as often as possible to meet the demands of your personal and professional life. By revising your plan regularly, you will be more likely to follow through with your plan.

Last, granted preparing a plan is pertinent to your achievement of self-care goals and strategies. However, your commitment to stick to your plan is especially important because it determines how successful you will be in your self-care plan. An evaluation of how committed you will be to the plan will help you gauge how likely you will adhere to it. Not only is your commitment crucial to the clients you will serve, but to you the social worker.

About the Author

O L L U online Masters of Social Work student Monica Romero

Monica Romero is a full-time online MSW student at OLLU with 16 years of experience working with children and families in child development, school-age, and teen programs in various leadership roles.