By Kayce Dallas, MSSW Intern at Kentucky Youth Advocates
“Self-care is giving the world the best of you instead of giving the world the rest of you.”
The first thing my mom asks when I call and complain to her how stressed I am is, “did you take time for yourself today?” I often forget how important it is to take care of myself. I am a full-time student getting my masters degree in Social Work, working 20 hours a week, interning 16 hours a week, and taking care of my sweet dog, all during a global pandemic. Although my life is busy, hectic, and full of chaos at times, I need to make taking care of myself a priority.
Recognizing when your tank is empty is the first step in prioritizing taking care of yourself. Trouble sleeping, inability to concentrate, eating (more or less), feeling overwhelmed and agitation are all common warning signs of stress. Once you are aware of your empty tank, developing a plan to fill it back up is important.
- If you are a student or are working from home, take a couple minutes between meetings or tasks for a mental health break: go outside and walk around the block, lay on the couch and pet your dog, read an interesting article that is not for work or school.
- If you are a parent, make sure to take some time for yourself: go on a jog with your baby in the stroller or take a long hot shower when the kids are in bed.
- You can also make self-care fun and exciting for your whole family and model the importance of taking care of yourself to your kids: have a family yoga session, talk about your day at the dinner table, enjoy some downtime by reading a book together.
- And, if you find you are really struggling, reach out to a therapist.
We are living in an unprecedented time. Between COVID-19 and the election season, many of us are experiencing intense burnout. Just know, you are not alone in this. This week make it a point to set aside time for yourself, whatever that looks like for you. We can get through this together, one step at a time.
“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.” -Oprah Winfrey
This week on our Advocate Virtual Forum, Dr. Joe Bargione of the Bounce Coalition led us through a self-care workshop to help us maintain the energy we need to continue our advocacy on behalf of Kentucky kids. As advocates battle the pandemic, support the community, experience personal and professional uncertainty, and sift through election news, it is important that we continue to care for ourselves.
Watch a video recording of the presentation, listen to the presentation on Kentucky Youth Advocates’ Making Kids Count podcast, view the slideshow, and view the self-care worksheet. Learn more about the Bounce Coalition and request a training at www.bouncecoalition.org.
This post is part of the blog series, Intern Insights.