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October 23, 2023

15 Ideas for Self-Care and Avoiding Burnout

A simple checklist to support wellbeing and find balance in our busy lives.

You can’t pour from an empty vessel. Nowhere is this more true than in education and health and social care. Wearing many hats, juggling all those roles and responsibilities, improvising, coping with the unpredictable, always appearing positive—it can feel impossible to manage everything, and tiredness erodes our patience, willpower, self-control and judgement; all essential to effectively support those in our care.

It’s easy to dismiss advice about self-care. It’s just common sense or statements of the blindingly obvious! But then again, this blog post is here for a reason. We need to look after ourselves. The following is a checklist we can all use to find ways to recharge and find balance.

1: Avoid perfectionism

We are in caring professions because we do really care. But we can care just a little too much about doing things perfectly and judge ourselves when we inevitably can’t be perfect all the time. We could always do things better. We could always write a better report or plan a better lesson. We could always spend more time running extra activities. We could work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and not get close to perfection.

‘Good enough’ is often all that is needed with so many of the tasks that fill up our day. We can be someone who is improving incrementally all the time, but also someone who prioritises their own needs and not just those they care for.

2: Don’t think about work all the time

It isn’t healthy or constructive for anyone to only think about work. It’s hard, but we can try to set boundaries. Giving set time just to think about work, rather than letting it spill into every part of our lives can help us find a work-life balance.

3: Phone a friend

It’s great to talk about work, but we can find ourselves talking about nothing but our jobs. It’s not healthy. We are more than just our profession.

Keeping in touch with friends and family outside of work can keep us grounded and help put work into perspective.

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