Radical Self-Care Therapist Style
Welcome back to my Radical Self-Care series- working on creating my R.E.A.L. self-care program so stay tuned. I asked some awesome psychotherapists and others in helping professions what their daily self-care routine is and got an amazing array of answers. Thank you all so much for helping me out with this. As therapists we tend to give a lot of energy away to others and it is of utmost importance that we take care of ourselves. Check out what these awesome clinicians do for self-care and also check out their websites and what they do!
Stephanie Devereux I would say I struggle to get time for self-care daily as I have little ones. But I try to go to the gym, listen to music and "disconnect" from TV & internet, and I practice deep breathing nearly every day.
Bethany Raab I read something that isn't related to work and doesn't come from the internet. Usually a book, but sometimes a magazine. Helps get my mind onto something different. Exercise is also a big part of my self-care routine!
Molly Merson I just love being in nature. We are fortunate to have some wilderness areas quite nearby in the East Bay, but even if I only have about 20 minutes, I can find connection in a park or even in the neighborhoods walking past people's gardens. If you give nature a moment to connect with you, it can offer so much more room to hold difficult emotions and ground spiraling thoughts than is possible to do on your own. I walk slowly, purposefully, and let my mind wander. I breathe deeply and regularly, noticing my breath, and noticing the way the light is on the grasses and leaves, the smell of the trees and the air, how the wind, sun, rain feel on my skin, and in about 10 minutes I feel pretty recharged. Plus, it's free!
Helen Chalmers, LPC I tend to be an introvert (gaining energy/recharging from being alone), so if I have a bunch of clients on one day, say, more than four or five, I will usually keep to myself that evening. I have spent all my listening-and-being-engaged energy for the day. I also don't schedule more than one day like this a week, so I don't have them back to back.
Mercedes Samudio, LCSW Each day, I listen to music and journal. Music helps release whatever stress accumulated during the day and journaling helps me get my thoughts sorted and out of my head. Both techniques help me unravel the clutter of the day so I can have free space to create and grow the next day.
Jessica Fowler, LCSW I think of self-care as two levels. My base is the necessities. Daily I make sure I get enough sleep, eat healthy and exercise (a few times a week). When I do those things, I am able to do the things that bring me more joy. Other things I do for self-care daily include reading (even if just for a few minutes), deep breathing, praying and sitting in silence (with little kids you learn to seek out silence!).
Mark Loewen, LPC I make a point of not checking my work email from home. As a self-employed clinician, it is hard to keep professional and personal schedules separate. I also try not to respond to -or make- work phone calls from home. When I am at work, I take 30 minutes for lunch where I am not working at the same time. I take some time to read articles or text with friends. In between sessions, I take one minute to take a few deep breaths and settle into the here and now, setting an intention to be present with my next client.
Michelle Tapia I take my dogs to an off-leash dog park 2-3 times a week because their mental health is tied to my mental health. The other days they get neighborhood walks. It is good for them and it is good for me.
Diann Wingert I start my day with at least 10 minutes of mindfulness meditation on the Headspace app
Megan Bearce For me it’s going on Facebook which sounds weird at first but I try to fill my feed with inspirational pages like A Mighty Girl and Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls. They share uplifting stories especially about the cool things women and girls have done or are doing. We also have friends and family scattered across the US so it’s an easy way for me to stay connected with them. Our profession can be isolating and stressful and this is a quick, easy way for me to feel less so. Weekly- I get to a yoga class. Monthly- I get a massage.
Kim McLaghlin, LMFT Self-care question- I have been meditating most every day for the past 8 months. I do it at no particular time and it is a quick 5-10 minutes. It is immensely helpful and when I took the pressure off of it having to be 30 minutes in the morning (like "they" recommend) I have been able to do it most days.
Nellie Narsia For me I always have to be outside and to feel connected to nature, sometimes just standing on the ground and feeling myself connected to it all allows me to be able to be present with my clients! I love to journal, and it write poetry, poetry truly connects me with my soul and it is very healing to me! I love bubble bath, and love pink Floyd!