Balancing Professional and Personal Lives through Self-Care

Module Sections:

Self-Care Techniques: Model of Self-Care

A. Model of self-care -Carroll, Gilroy, & Murra (1999)

Carroll, Gilroy, & Murra (1999) proposed a four part model of self-care techniques:

  1. Intrapersonal work
  2. Professional development
  3. Physical
  4. Recreational activities and interpersonal support

Utilizing specific techniques in each area of the model provides for a self-care plan that is both comprehensive and rejuvenating.

  1. Intrapersonal Work: The focus of this part of the model is on increasing your self-awareness. Some specific techniques you might utilize could be participating in activities that increase your sense of spirituality, noticing how your values are reflected in your work and your life, scheduling time to reflect on your self-care plans, understanding where you are developmentally as an adult or as a practitioner, doing personal journaling, or participating in your own therapy.

    Developing a practice that exercises your mind and soul is vital but depends on how you define that. Whether it is a routine of prayer, meditation, attending services, that build up your spirit and faith with likeminded others, exploration of yourself that helps you to identify your values and priorities, reading wisdom literature and discussions with others that deepen your knowledge of yourself and the universe, finding a way to contribute to the well being of others (UTD, 2008).
  2. Professional Development: This part of the model is to continue to develop and renew as a clinician. Some specific techniques you might utilize could be attending case consultations, completing your continuing education units in classes that are interesting or altogether different from anything you've tried before, serving in your local association, connecting or serving in your local community, or developing your own continuing education courses (Nicely, 2004)
  3. Physical and Recreational Activities: The focus of this part of the model is to have some fun with activities that are not related to your work. This may include an exercise program, vacations and travel, hobbies or other activities, taking time off for no specific purpose, reading, etc. Moving your body, whether in some structured sport or exercise, or just dancing around, stretching, walking over to the park to feed the ducks. Give it something good to eat, that doesn't come in a bag or box from a drive through. Cook it yourself-take time for yourself, not just whatever is the fastest thing. Get a massage or something to wear that has great texture and color. Go to the doctor when you are sick (UTD, 2008).
  4. Interpersonal Support: The focus of this part of the model is to maintain healthy relationships that support your wellbeing. Maintaining a healthy relationship with your partner, family, and friends can serve you well in difficult times. You might spend time with family and make time for good friends, including close relationships with peers who support you and your work. Be accepting, kind, easy to forgive yourself. Get enough people in your life, that you can laugh with, share a meal with, talk to when an occasion comes up, who respect you and don't expect you to do all the work of keeping up the friendship or relationship. Do a variety of things for fun and stimulation, some that you can do with others, and some to do alone. Some times when you are having trouble coming up with an idea, remember things you liked when you were a child, but have long ago given up, like painting, drawing, getting out the hammer and nailing or constructing something (UTD, 2008).