Helping professionals are some of the busiest people on the planet. They often work long hours and put the needs of others before their own. This can lead to burnout and a whole host of other problems. In this blog post, we will discuss micro self-care for helping professionals. self-care is extremely important, but it can be difficult to find the time for it in our busy lives. We will provide some tips for incorporating self-care into your daily routine, so you can stay healthy and happy!
Laura Reagan sits down to have a conversation with Ashley on self-care for helping professionals in small ways. In fact, Ashley loves her work and counts it a privilege to be part of people’s lives. Her private practice is in her home, and it’s “a fun job, watching life unfold in front of you.” That is why she began to discover how essential micro-self-care is when you live where you work and vice versa.
For example, if she’s feeling tired, she can take a nap or have a cup of tea. If she’s feeling anxious, she can go for a walk around the block. These micro self-care choices add up. A common thread in therapy work whether grief, couples, or anxiety, is self-care. However, for some people self-care seems to be this big activity that has to take up a lot of time and space and that is anything by true. That is where the idea of micro-self-care comes into play. Especially for helping professionals.
What is micro self-care?
It is self-care that can be done in small snippets of time throughout the day. It doesn’t have to be an all-day event or even an hour long. In fact, it can be done in as little as five minutes. Ashley states that“Micro self-care” practices are the big things that we normally think of regarding self-care, but micro practices are short, simple things that can be done in 1-2 minutes. She gives the example of drinking water throughout the day or taking a few deep breaths.
So, what are some things that can be considered micro self-care? Here is a list to get you started:
-Drinking water regularly
-Eating healthy snacks
-Taking breaks often
-Getting up and moving around every
Why Should You Focus on Micro Self-Care At All?
When we focus on self-care to avoid burnout we are giving our future selves a gift. Consider this, just as there is big T trauma and little t trauma, we can categorize burnout as “little b” and “BIG B”.
Little “b” burnout
“little b” burnout is when you are exhausted at the end of the day or week. You may need a good night’s rest or a few days off to regenerate and recover.
Big “B” Burnout
“BIG B” burnout is when you need to leave the field because you can’t take it anymore. This is a type of secondary traumatic stress (STS). STS occurs when you are constantly exposed to other people’s trauma and it starts to take a toll on your own mental and physical health. So, how do we know if we have headed? for “BIG B” burnout?
Here are some warning signs
You are exhausted all the time you feel like you are in a fog-You have difficulty concentrating-You are irritable and short tempered-You feel hopeless and helpless-Your physical health is suffering you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to reach out for help.
Within this message, we can’t ignore burnout, Micro self-care, and vicarious trauma
The truth is that all therapists do some form of trauma work. The truth is that personal and professional experience can cloud the lens with which we see the world, but life’s pains are a constant trauma. So, what do we need for self-care? We need self-compassion. As a therapist, we recommend other self-care practices such as yoga, meditation, and journaling. However, these should not be used as a Band-Aid to avoid the big work that needs to be done. Instead, they should be used in
Micro Self-Care Vs. Self-Violence
The hard truth is that when you don’t take care of yourself, then you’re doing harm (violence) to yourself. It’s time to start thinking of self-care as a form of self-love and self-respect. It is not selfish to take care of yourself; it is necessary. So, the next time you find yourself skipping meals, not drinking water, or working long hours without a break, remember that you are worthy of self-care.
What Can Help?
Mindfulness is a great first step. If you are not familiar with mindfulness, it is the practice of being present in the moment and observing your thoughts and feelings without judgment. It is a way to become more self-aware and can be done through meditation, yoga, or simply paying attention to your breath. In order to bring ourselves into the present, we can use our 5 senses to cultivate a sense of presence. Think bells, essential oils, soft materials, a red hot, or an object nearby.
How Often Should I Use Micro-Self Care?
We recommend using micro self-care practices at the beginning, middle, and end of your day. Making the transformation from macro to micro self-care practices requires thinking creatively, but shouldn’t be overwhelming. It can take time to allow ourselves to have this transition. The wonderful news is that neuroplasticity is the science that shows the brain can change in response to repetitive behaviors. You can rewire your brain to be more peaceful! When your brain is rewired, then your default setting comes to a place of gratitude and feeling good.
So What Should You Take Away from This?
- Develop a simple plan for 3 micro self-care practices each day.
- Sleep 8-9 hours each night so you aren’t tired during the day.
- Prioritize self-care, and you’ll soon realize that you can’t live without it!
- Be aware of the seasons of life, but regardless of the season, you can fit in micro self-care every day
Find a Trauma Therapist Near Me!
Working with a trauma therapist allows you to process your traumatic experiences in a safe space. You’ll be able to more clearly understand how your trauma has impacted different areas of your life. Then, you’ll be able to start healing. You don’t have to live under the weight of your experiences. If you’re considering therapy, you can find an experienced trauma therapist near you by clicking here.
Check Out My Trauma Podcast or Therapy Chat Podcast for More Support
When you get scheduled with a therapist, it may take a week or so before you have your first appointment. If you are waiting to see a trauma therapist and want some additional resources in the meantime, you may want to check out our Trauma Chat podcast or our Therapy Chat podcast. In our podcasts, we discuss topics such as attachment style, childhood trauma, and trauma responses. Podcasts and blogs aren’t a replacement for counseling, but they can be a great source of information while you’re looking for a therapist. It can also be helpful to learn more about trauma and PTSD treatment while you’re in counseling. Remember, healing is possible. You can overcome your trauma.