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Psychologists (self-) care


To all the psychologists out there: it’s important to practise what we preach. Following on from our last blog about burnout, let’s talk about self-care. Consider the last time you took a break. Have you taken effective time off over the last year? Do you take breaks between weeks, between days, even between sessions, to focus on your self-care?

It’s important to understand how self-care works for you. Self-care is likely something you’re quite familiar with give you we often discuss this concept with clients, but that can sometimes mean that we intellectualise the idea of self-care and disconnect from it as a reality. Sometimes it can feel self-indulgent or like a waste of time – but those moments are usually when we need to be prioritising self-care the most. If we are not refilling our own cup, we will be left with nothing to pour from, and how can we continue to function as people in that state, let alone as clinicians?

More than ever, our skills are needed – and therefore more than ever before we need to be looking after ourselves. We are human – we feel the stress and anxiety of our personal life as well as professional lives. We may be experiencing similar thoughts and feelings to our clients, and there can be something therapeutic and helpful in that, but as we manage intense workloads, distressed clients, and our own lives at the same time, we need to ensure we are giving ourselves the best possible opportunity to survive and thrive. 

Self-care is how you take your power back. Self-care is not just bubble baths and a little treat at the end of a hard day – it includes setting boundaries and sticking to them, being mindful not to overextend yourself by taking on too many hours or too high of a case load, saying no when you need to, establishing and working toward goals and maintaining a healthy work-life balance, bringing self-care activities into your daily routine, engaging in ‘circuit-breakers’ throughout the day, scheduling and taking regular breaks, acknowledging your limits, and accessing support when and where it’s needed. 

So, here are some self-care suggestions:

  • Taking regular breaks throughout the day.
  • Avoiding taking work home.
  • Developing and maintaining healthy boundaries.
  • Avoiding overcommitting.
  • Seeking helpful, regular supervision.
  • Maintaining a good work–life balance.
  • Focusing on a healthy, balanced diet.
  • Engaging in regular physical activity.
  • Practising good sleep hygiene.
  • participating in activities that bring mastery and pleasure.
  • Prioritising positive social relationships.
  • Maintain connection with culture, country, and community.


Steph Sier
Mental Health Accredited Social Worker
Q Psychology

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