The entire Youth Dynamics team met at the Chico Hot Springs on May 2-3 for our Annual All Staff Retreat. The theme of this year’s retreat was Dealing with Secondary Trauma – Self-Care. The two days was set up with stations for YDI staff to try new self-care techniques. Last week’s blog post covered some of the benefits of self-care and this week’s will describe some actual self-care techniques.
We all know there are many benefits to self-care but where many people get stuck is in the how part. We are not taught how to take care of ourselves in this way. How do you find activities that work for you? How do you make time for it? In other words, how do you self-care? We try to answer all of these questions below.
How do you find the self-care routine that work for you?
The best way to find what works is to experiment! That is what the staff at Youth Dynamics did. They had the unique opportunity to get a taste of a variety of self-care activities.
There were 10 different workshops led by members of the Youth Dynamics team and experts from the community. Each of the workshops allowed members of the YDI team time to either learn or practice a new form of self-care. The sessions included: meditation, guided artwork, walking in nature, adult coloring, creative writing, crafting self-care props, nutrition, personal finance, yoga, and massage.
As you experiment with different methods of self-care, make sure to check in with yourself. A good self-care activity and routine leaves you feeling energized. You might find it helpful to keep a journal to document how you feel as you try different activities or start new habits.
I am so busy! How do you make time for self-care?
You make time for self-care the same way you make time for anything! You prioritize it and schedule it. It helps to start small, scheduling a 5 minute coffee or tea break in the middle of the afternoon. Or adding a 30 second deep breathing session to your To Do list. As you get better at taking these small breaks, scheduling bigger blocks of time will be easier and easier. The important thing is to make self-care a part of your routine in the same way that doing laundry or going to the grocery store is routine. You can not take care of others if you cannot take care of your self!