Therapists need self-care, not just for personal wellbeing, but to nurture and sustain professional functioning.
The tool of your trade as a therapist is you. So making sure that you maintain your own well being isn’t a luxury, it’s crucial to your ability to do your work well and without burning out.
There is just not enough support built into most therapists’ work environment, so self-care can mean prioritizing this need and finding ways to nurture yourself not just personally, but also professionally.
Here are some ideas:
- Use my gift of guided mindfulness (see below).
- Make time for lunch and breaks every single day.
- Pause for 3 deep breaths between appointments and meetings.
- Make time to relax and move your body every single day — even if it’s brief stretching, sinking back into a cozy chair, a 5-minute walk, or shaking out your arms and legs.
- Take pauses throughout the day for some type of respite and recuperation – find or carve out short breaks to do this (2 – 10 minutes).
- Begin staff meetings with a moment of poetry, mindfulness, or moving together.
- Set a regular lunch date with a colleague.
- Suggest that your work team add in some time for in-services, consultation, or even social gatherings.
- Join or form a peer supervision or consultation group.
- Make use of the supervision, consultation, and professional development opportunities available in your workplace and through your professional organizations.
- Find continuing education opportunities that inspire and challenge you.
- Get supervision or consultation.
- Take 5 minutes to brainstorm your own list.
My gift of guided mindfulness for your self-care.
I have just added some very brief guided mindfulness exercises to the Movement Matters body-centered psychotherapy website. You can use and enjoy them yourself and pass them on to both colleagues and clients.
There is a Moment of Mindful Stillness and a Moment of Mindful Movement, so you can pick what kind of mood you’re in and what might be good for you at the moment.
They are each only about 2 minutes, so they’re a great choice for pausing in the middle of a busy day for a bit of respite and rejuvenation.
How about using them as a group at the beginning or end of a staff meeting?
If you have requests for future guided mindfulness specifically for therapists, please share your ideas with me.Listen to Guided Mindfulness
This article is intended for informational purposes only.
It is not to be considered as legal, ethical, clinical, treatment planning, treatment recommendations, or any other business or clinical practice advice related to your work as a therapist, or business advice on how you choose to use this material.
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© 2020 Annabelle Coote & Fire Within