Self-Care for the New Year (Part 3 of 3)

image courtesy of Duke Integrative Medicine

The new year provides a great opportunity to reflect on the past and make commitments for the future.  In this spirit I am posting a series of step-by-step activities developed by the University of Buffalo School of Social Work to aid in developing your own individualized “Maintenance Self-Care Plan.”  Feel free to join along here and post comments below, or jump ahead by visiting the UB website yourself. Be sure to click on the BOLDED links to PDFs. (All material below is quoted)


6. Share your intentions. Once you have developed your plan and made your commitment, share you self-care plan with other students and friends/family so you can exchange ideas/strategies and enlist support and encouragement. Consider also joining or starting a student support or discussion group as one way to consolidate and sustain your efforts. (For your reference, we have included some Tips for Starting a Support or Discussion Group, also in the “Developing Your Support System” section.)

7. Be prepared. Next, click on Developing Your Emergency Self-Care Plan, and work through those materials. Developing an Emergency Self-Care Plan helps to organize your thinking and resources before you are faced with a crisis or feel overwhelmed. This is not to suggest that you will invariably face such a situation during graduate school; the idea is to be prepared just in case. Think of it in the way you would think about preparedness for other possible emergency situations: it is important to figure out your plan in advance when you have the time, wherewithal, and concentration to do so effectively!

8. Follow your plan. Once you have completed the assessments and worksheet described above you will have identified the core elements of your personal Maintenance Self-Care Plan. The final step is to implement your plan and keep track of how you are doing. Keeping track of your progress will help you recognize your successes and identify and address any difficulties you may not have anticipated. Don’t forget that you can revise your plan as needed – self-care is always a work in progress. (Remember, also, to employ your emergency plan when and if you need to.)

(Prepared by Lisa D. Butler, PhD, based in part on materials provided by Sandra A. Lopez, LCSW, ACSW, University of Houston, Graduate School of Social Work)






~ by Brendan Kober on December 29, 2011.

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