top of page
Search
  • Writer's pictureH G

Self-Care Exercises and Activities

The activities and exercises listed below are intended to augment your self-care plan or can be used independently. The topics cover ways to maintain your physical health, decrease stress, increase relaxation and equanimity, and deal with challenging emotional situations (including work situations). We invite you to find the ones that are applicable to your life and situation. We also recommend that you read Developing Your Support System for information on nurturing your relationships and enhancing your social support network and look through the Inspirational Materials and Self-Care Readings pages for resources you can use to enhance your spiritual, emotional, and intellectual well-being.

Healthy Eating

One important way to maintain and enhance your physical health is through healthy eating. The USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion has prepared recommendations based on the most current research to help you evaluate and improve your food choices. Check out the Dietary Guidelines for Americans website's current dietary guidelines.

Physical Fitness and Immunity

Getting regular physical exercise and taking steps to protect yourself from contracting colds and flu bugs are fundamental aspects of self-care. Tips for Increasing Physical ActivityDownload pdf(100 KB) includes ideas for boosting your overall level of physical activity as well as incorporating exercise into your daily routine. Strengthen Your Immune SystemDownload pdf(144 KB) offers pointers to keep your immune system strong and your body healthy.

Reducing Stress

There are many ways to begin reducing your stress and some of them only take a few moments. Look over the suggestions in Some Simple Ways to Relieve StressDownload pdf(73 KB) to see if there is something you can do right now (and do it!) and also make a note of the other activities you can incorporate into your daily life from now on. For specific suggestions on how to lower stress while you are at work try 21 Ways to Reduce Stress During the WorkdayDownload pdf(117 KB).

Another technique that some people employ to deal with their stress is to try to understand and address the factors that contribute to it. Practicing Stress JournalingDownload pdf(97 KB) can be useful in this regard.

Time Management

One of the most common complaints associated with feelings of stress is, “There isn't enough time!” Use the tips provided in Time ManagementDownload pdf(152 KB) to help you prioritize and schedule your time, set goals, and end procrastination.

Relaxation

Learning how to relax is vital for self-care. Fortunately there are a number of well-developed techniques you can use. Step-by-step instructions on how to use progressive muscle relaxation and visual imagery to ease tension and increase relaxation are included in Effective Methods for RelaxationDownload pdf(537 KB). For other ways to achieve (or return to) a more peaceful state, check out the exercises described in Energy Management For Care ProvidersDownload pdf(106 KB) and Creating Your Special PlaceDownload pdf(100 KB). Additional techniques you might consider are yoga, Tai Chi, and massage – for online resources and local practitioners consult the Online and Other Self-Care Resources webpage.

Mindfulness

When we feel stressed and overburdened, it can often seem like we’re living on “autopilot,” disconnected from the here-and-now and our present experience. One remedy for this is mindfulness, which involves direct and nonjudgmental awareness of the present moment. You may have heard of mindfulness as a form of meditation, but it can also be a general orientation to your own experience. “When you are mindful, you are awake to life on its terms – fully alive to each moment as it arrives, as it is, and as it ends” (Sanderson, nd). For an introduction to how you can become more mindful, read through MindfulnessDownload pdf(170 KB) and learn mindful breathing.Download pdf(110 KB) As with many of the materials listed in this section, these materials may be helpful for your clients as well.

Avoiding Compassion Fatigue

Compassion fatigue can develop from a combination of burnout (feelings of hopelessness and difficulties at work or in doing your job effectively) and secondary or vicarious traumatization (from exposure to the traumatic life experiences that your clients report). Check out Ways to Avoid Compassion FatigueDownload pdf(81 KB) for key elements to enhance your resilience in the workplace.

Assertiveness

Learning to be assertive (rather than unassertive or aggressive) is a tremendously important skill for your emotional well-being – one that can positively impact your life both personally and professionally. Assertiveness enables direct and honest communication and important boundary setting, and it can address some of the situations that add to feelings of stress. Read over Assertiveness and NonassertivenessDownload pdf(142 KB) to begin to learn and practice the skills.

Be Good to Yourself

Much of what we have described in these Student Self-Care webpages (and more), is summed up on a handy single page, Tips for Vitality and SerenityDownload pdf(82 KB). Check it out (and keep it handy), and be good to yourself!

* Adapted from https://socialwork.buffalo.edu/resources/self-care-starter-kit/self-care-assessments-exercises/exercises-and-activities.html

12 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page