This my third and final semester in graduate school (well, I still have a summer term, but I try not to think about it), and I feel like I am finally getting the hang of what they refer to in social work as "self care." From day one, our professors have really tried to pound it into us the importance of taking the time to take care of yourself since our profession requires us to give so much of ourselves to others. You would think anyone would love to be given the excuse to "spoil" yourself, however, it was something I've definitely struggled with. Grad school is supposed to hard and mentally exhausting, so I accepted the weekends with no breaks from reading journals, writing papers, meeting with groups, to the 12 hour days of class combined with my babysitting jobs. However, I soon realized that I continued going at this pace, I wouldn't live to graduate. Ok, so maybe a little exaggerated but, I knew that I might make it to graduation but then I might be at the point where I would be so "over" social work, that I might not want to work in it field at all. Hence, run away to an exotic location, hide from my student loans, and work some mundane yet extremely low-stress job.
So I've decided to take "self care" seriously and am taking the necessary steps to do so. 1.) only booking about 10-15 hours of babysitting jobs a week. 2.) exercise, including more yoga and relaxation exercises and 3.) Doing more things I enjoy, such as reading for fun, watching movies, hanging out with friends, drinking more wine, and knitting (although my boyfriend will laugh about the last one, since he says that knitting, at this point, actually makes me more stressed).
Steps I have taken so far:
I reached out to my University Yoga club about joining for free classes. and have checked out some books of interest. Also, I have so far only booked myself for a regular babysitting gig, one day a week for about 5 hours. Let's see if I can keep it up!