Monday, August 10, 2015

Tips for Counselor Self-Care

Call back the search parties...I'm back!  After an extremely restful and relaxing summer it's time to get back to business and head back to school.  Although I did not blog this summer, I certainly thought of upcoming posts.

Posting about self-care is something that I've wanted to share for some time.  Often we give so much of ourselves in our schools to our students, parents and even staff that sometimes we forget to give some time to "us".  I thought of a few tips, some others told me in my career and some I've just learned from trial and error that I'd like to share with you:

-Do something (non-work related) that you enjoy:  I have several hobbies that I enjoy, my morning group run twice a week (Shout out to BGR) and going to group fitness classes at my gym (shout out to the Cary Y).  My class starts at 4:30, which makes me leave work on time.  During the fitness class, work is usually not on my mind.  After I've finished, I have a clear head and have had a great workout.

My morning run group (awesome ladies)
-Keep a folder (or even a drawer) of positive notes, cards, drawings from students, parents, staff, etc: When having a rough day(s) it's very reassuring to know that you're truly making a difference in your role.

Notes like this can totally brighten your day.

-Don't respond to voicemail or email messages when angry or upset:  Guess what kind of response you give when you angry or upset? Yep you're right angry and upset!  Take some time to calm down and get your emotions in order before you respond, as my students sometimes say "don't get all up in your feelings".  Usually by the time you have calmed down you can rationally respond to your email.  Also word to the wise, keep those emails short and sweet.

-Eat lunch away from your computer:  Each year, my intern and I make a rule to have lunch together and not in front of a computer.  What a difference that makes.  We really need that non-work time to connect.

-Even if you're alone as the counselor in your school, you're NOT alone:  Connect with other counselors in your district or nearby.  Thank you social media for allowing so many of us to connect!  If you haven't already joined the Elementary Exchange Facebook group, you sure are missing out!  Ask a question, share a resource or even a little vent on the FB group and you'll have a multitude of support.  I'm so thankful that this blog has allowed me to connect with so many of you.

I never feel alone thanks to this amazing PLT (Professional Learning Team)!

-When needed, take a mental health day:  Any form of burnout isn't fun.  You're no good to yourself or your students when you're not "yourself".  If you need to take a day to rejuvenate and refocus it may be in your best interest.

Do you have any other tips that you'd like to share for self-care?

Pin It