Self-care is an important component of social work practice

Self-care is an important component of social work practice. It helps social workers to avoid burnout and buffer the effects of secondary trauma. The School of Social Work at the University of Buffalo created a toolkit for students to assess their level of stress and burnout and to build a personalized plan for self-care.

You will go through the Introduction to Self-Care and Developing a Plan for Self-Care sections of the UBuffalo toolkit. You should complete the assessments and self-plan worksheets; however, you do not have to turn these in.

For this discussion forum, your post should answer the following:

– Identify one self-care goal for the next 4 weeks of this course (based on your self-care needs and preferences identified in assessments you completed on the tool kit).

Here are some ideas to get you started: Go to a yoga class once a week. Have an hour each day to work on a creative project. Take a walk on most days of the week. No working after 5 PM. Spend 30 minutes outside meditating each day.

– Reflect on barriers that might get in your way of meeting your goal. For example:  limited time available, thought processes like “Self-care can wait until after graduation.” or “Finishing this assignment is more important than self care,” weather, illness, etc.

– Identify at least 2 strategies for addressing these barriers, to help you overcome them to meet your goals.

Remember, the purpose of self-care activities is to RECOVER from the stresses involved with social work and graduate school. Pick something that will improve your quality of life and put you at ease. This should be small and “winnable.” Don’t set yourself up for failure by being overly ambitious. Be gentle with yourself.

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