Self-care has many benefits, such as better mood, healthier relationships, more ability to help others, and better physical, mental and emotional health. This is important for many health professionals because of the emotional energy their jobs require. Exercise and diet are equally critical components of self-care. Psychologists often recommend a balanced diet and physical activity to their clients (Burton et al.
In addition to maintaining a balanced diet and staying hydrated on a daily basis, it is recommended that mental health professionals exercise regularly (Harrison and Westwood, 200). Empirical research on how to help professionals and the general population highlight the psychological benefits of physical health. For example, medical students who exercised regularly reported less exhaustion and greater professional effectiveness (Wolf and Rosenstock, 201), as well as lower rates of exhaustion and a better quality of life (Dyrbye et al. Physical health can serve as a protective factor in relation to the well-being of professionals.
In another study, people who had moderate to high fitness scores reported fewer symptoms of exhaustion and depression than those with low scores (Gerber et al. On the contrary, a study found a positive relationship between exercise and the experience of stress among clinical graduate students (McKinzie et al. Perhaps as far as the study is concerned, instead of contributing to stress levels, people may have exercised more as a means of coping with times of greater stress. Exercising and eating well can be the first step in taking care of yourself.
Exercise is known to help reduce stress by releasing endorphins. Eating well can help you maintain energy throughout the day and, at the same time, prevent diseases that stress can cause. Simple exercises, such as walking or stretching between sessions or doing yoga before or after the workday, can create a lasting impact. Self-care techniques and general lifestyle changes can help control the symptoms of many mental health problems.
They can also help prevent some problems from developing or worsening. Self-care is vital to building resilience to life's stressors that you can't eliminate. Many of these techniques revolve around basic concepts that can be easily overlooked. This literature review suggests that encouraging areas of self-care, such as awareness, balance, flexibility, physical health, social support, and spirituality (see table), can help prevent the downward spiral of stress, exhaustion, and professional deterioration, and promote an upward spiral of well-being for mental health professionals (see fig.
When you practice self-care regularly, you'll feel calmer, more focused, and better able to guide your clients. Mental health professionals often use a variety of self-care practices that address areas of awareness, balance, flexibility, physical health, social support, or spirituality. Second, since self-care is a dynamic process, the practices used by mental health professionals will be adopted throughout their practice (Dorociak et al. However, more is needed in terms of implementing self-care “on the ground”, in clinical training programs and in the quality assurance processes of professional associations in the field of mental health.
The concept of self-care may be different from person to person, but on a fundamental level, practicing self-care means taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. Experienced therapists place professional and peer supervision among the three most important and useful coping strategies for managing self-care and feelings of incompetence (Thériault et al. Finding a personal means of self-care is important to help you maintain overall positive mental health. It can also help identify what activities or tasks are necessary for your well-being, alleviate the negative symptoms of mental illness or stress, or simply provide pleasure or relaxation.
The purpose of this literature review was to examine the role of self-care in the context of mental health professions (counseling, psychotherapy, etc.). Paying attention to the physical and mental symptoms of stress is important, she says, as is taking steps to alleviate those symptoms instead of ignoring them and simply waiting for the situation to work itself out. Training programs and professional organizations have the power to cultivate an attitude of self-care in the field of mental health work. Behavioral health professionals are an excellent resource for people struggling with these feelings, but therapists need to take time to care for themselves, do their jobs, and maintain their mental health.
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