We all live and work in a culture where the potential for burnout is very real. “The constant change and many pressures with little or no time for leisure, relaxation, connection with others, and nonexistent or exceedingly limited support or cushioning of our countless responsibilities are causing havoc in our society. Debilitating overload caused by personal, professional, and societal overload (or their combination) intensities unresolved issues from personal, intra-psychic, and relational sources.” -SaraKay Smullens (MSW, LCSW, CGP, CFLE, BCD )
Developing a Self-Care Plan
One of the most important things that we can do in regards to “burnout prevention” is to develop a self-care plan. This is something that we need to create before the pressures and demands of our job force us to make the necessary personal life changes to mitigate the effects of burnout.
Self-care is something most of us have heard about but our understanding often supersedes the actual implementation and follow through. For some, it stems from an early belief that “self-care” equates with “selfishness.” Self-care is not being selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.
Debilitating overload caused by personal, professional, and societal overload (or their combination) intensities unresolved issues from personal, intra-psychic, and relational sources.Sara-Kay Smullens
Personally, I have found that even with the best intentions and a carefully structured plan, without purposeful accountability it does not take long to slip back into old unhealthy patterns which eventually drain life away.
Where do we begin?
Or perhaps for the majority of us, where do we begin again? It may be helpful to go back to some of the basics of self-care: taking care of our physical health; managing stress and finding ways to reduce it whenever possible; honoring our emotional and spiritual needs, intentionally nurturing life-giving relationships and creating harmony between our personal and work life.
Personal Accountability is Needed
Successful self-care requires regular “check-ins”, and consistent re-evaluation of your plan. You may find yourself disappointed if you expect organizational accountability as this is an area where much growth and improvement is still needed. Finding individuals to walk this journey with you will minimize frustrations and maximize the personal effectiveness and “fruitfulness” of your plan.
What are some of the things that you have found most helpful in your own “self-care” plan? If you have further questions in creating your own personal “self-care” plan please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org