What is required for self care? Self-care is act of attending to our physical, emotional, social, and cognitive well-being. Well-being is the act of balancing our needs with the demands on our time from outside forces that can include obligations, work, family, and friends. Self-care connects to well-being with builds our resiliency to feel competent and whole in our work.
What are the elements of resiliency?
Reflective Practice: At the heart of reflective practice is the examination of what you do to gain insight into your work. Reflective practice also includes connecting to your inner life so you understand what you are feeling and why you are feeling it. Examples of activities in reflective practice include observation, documentation, and journaling of your own practice.
Life Skills: Developing the skills you need to successfully navigate work and home. Life skills range from budgeting skills to how dissect a professional development activity to get the most out of it. Life skills also include people skills, such as talking to parents and mediating problems on the job.
Emotional Supports: Supporting our emotional lives in early childhood requires, not only work-life balance but also wellness activities within our work. Wellness activities include reflective supervision that scaffolds our emotional work in early childhood---the act of deconstructing problems within our classrooms and in the greater early childhood community. Emotional supports also provide us with healthy work environments where guilt, gossip, and disruptive behaviors are kept to a minimum.
Reflective Practice, Life Skills, and Emotional Supports are the foundation of well-being in our field and lead to greater resiliency. Our resiliency allows us to make choices about our physical, emotional, social, and cognitive heath that allow us to thrive. When we lack resiliency, we enter a downward spiral that minimalizes our self-care.
In a field that has traditionally touted self-sacrifice as a virtue, it is time to take a hard look at the importance of well-being as an attribute that is an indicator of professional practice. Consistent acts of self-care are hallmarks of professionalism and it is time to acknowledge the need to embed our personal and professional care as part of our professional growth and long-term sustainability in our field.