We all know that Christmas can be a busy and stressful time, and it can be all too easy to forget to look after our own wellbeing.
'Care of self as a practitioner' is specifically referred to in the Ethical Framework for the Counselling Professions, which states:
"91. We will take responsibility for our own wellbeing as essential to sustaining good practice with our clients by:
a. taking precautions to protect our own physical safety
b. monitoring and maintaining our own psychological and physical health, particularly that we are sufficiently resilient and resourceful to undertake our work in ways that satisfy professional standards
c. seeking professional support and services as the need arises
d. keeping a healthy balance between our work and other aspects of life”
Last Christmas, our top tips for therapists' self-care from accredited member Susan Carr was one of the most read features on our website, so now is a good time to remind you.
We've also put together a selection of self-care resources which are all free for members over the Christmas period.
This year, Susan recommends:
Maintain your boundaries
As a therapist it's likely you're used to maintaining boundaries in work (for example managing contact between sessions, avoiding conflicts of interest etc) but how do you manage boundaries in your personal life?
Christmas can be a time when our boundaries are tested in terms of expectations around meeting up with family and friends but it's important to consider whether this is right for your own wellbeing. Remember it's OK to say no and you don’t need to give a reason.
Play self-care bingo!
Make yourself a bingo card with a list of self-care activities and try to do one each day over the festive period. Here's some ideas:
- have a relaxing bath
- go for a walk
- listen to music
- watch a Christmas film
- read that book you’ve been meaning read
- meditate or practise mindfulness
- start journaling
- get creative – painting, knitting, colouring, craft activities
- have a digital detox
- just do nothing without feeling guilty!
Resources to help you consider and understand the importance of your own self-care.
Five tips to avoid stress at Christmas
BACP counsellor Natasha Page has some advice on how you can have a stress-free festive season
Why Christmas can be difficult for couples - and how to make it easier
BACP counsellors address the issues that cause problems for relationships at Christmas