Who practiced self care today? Ok, let me be a bit more realistic and ask who practiced self care this week? During the last month? Yes, that’s what I thought….it’s been a while!
I’m sure you have a number of good reasons why you didn’t fit that into your schedule. After all, you’re a play therapist, you’re up to your elbows in paperwork, you have paint on your favorite pants, you can find more glitter on your body than in the bottle, and after a full day of clients you are ready for a hot shower and bed. Who would have time for self care after all of that?
Many people assume that because you are a play therapist you spend your days “playing” with your clients. In all of that play you must be meeting some of your self care needs, right? Well, I hate to disappoint you and you probably already know the answer, but “No, you aren’t!”
Many of us spend time with parents and caregivers reminding them of the importance of self care, yet we don’t always practice what we preach. Why is that? Well, my personal thought is that most (if not all) of us in this profession are here because we are helpers by nature and yet we fail to care for ourselves most often.
I challenge you to make time to care for yourself on a daily basis even if it's five minutes a day. You can do a one minute meditation between clients. Yoga moves are always good to help you through the day. Drink water all day long to cleanse your body, listen to music, watch something funny on YouTube, find a scent of lotion or a candle that is pleasing to you. Let chocolate melt in your mouth – resist the urge to chew it and swallow it. Eat healthy, take a brisk five minute walk, or do something that makes your heart smile and your body feel good. Don’t forget to eat your breakfast and move away from your desk for lunch.
Take time to celebrate you and enjoy those you love. If all else fails, practice a random act of kindness – it will not only make you feel good, but it will obviously make someone else feel cared for! Now, step away from the computer and go take care of yourself!
Stephanie Holloway is a 1998 graduate of the University of Kansas with an MSW. She is a Licensed Specialist Clinical Social Worker, Registered Play Therapist – Supervisor, StoryPlay® Practitioner and Facilitator, and she is serving her fourth year on the Kansas Association for Play Therapy as Advisor to The Board. She has a private practice in Junction City, KS. Learn more about Stephanie on her website Play For Children and on her Facebook Page