Self-care and burnout are pretty hot topics in the media today. A lot of the focus on self-care and overcoming burnout—a constant state of being overworked, exhausted, or worn out—is about a sense of “getting back on track” or getting right back to work. But self-care isn’t about optimizing performance, or about measuring or counting anything. What self-care is truly about is exactly what it says: taking care of yourself. Carve out time in your life to engage in self-care activities regularly. Try filling out a self-care inventory (PDF) or asking yourself some questions after trauma if applicable.
Not all self-care options are obvious or easy and sometimes self-care requires balance. Sometimes the best self-care is prioritizing something to make life easier for your future self, like doing laundry instead of napping so that your future self has clean clothes, or completing a task that you’ve been putting off because it causes you stress when completing the task now will prevent future stress. Sometimes you might need to seek out social interaction if you’re feeling blue and would prefer to isolate yourself. Pay attention to your mind and body and make healthy decisions for your self-care.
Sometimes we are unable to take care of ourselves because of major life disruptions like caregiving or working multiple jobs, and sometimes it’s because of an illness like depression. A psychologist can help if you feel overwhelmed, overworked, or unable to overcome a mental health concern.