March 24, 2021
Working Wildcats: Self-Care
Human Capital Services shares the second article in the Working Wildcats campaign offering helpful tips on self-care. Managing self-care is critical to overall health and well-being, enabling success in a well-balanced lifestyle.
In a webinar hosted by the College and University Professional Association of Human Resources, or CUPA-HR, titled "Self-Care for Personal and Professional Success," presented by Alex Yannacone, University of Colorado School of Medicine, self-care is defined as a holistic approach to ensuring personal well-being in six areas: physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, relationship and workplace. Individuals who practice self-care reap the benefits of balance between personal life and the workplace. Self-care promotes energy, overall health and positive relationships which translates to happier employees, reduced absenteeism and increased productivity in the workplace, even during difficult times. Whereas self-care promotes energy, stress can lead to a loss of energy and eventual burnout. Indicators of stress include over-reactive emotions, a sense of urgency and over-engagement. Damage caused by stress is mostly physical in nature while damage from burnout is emotional. With burnout, disengagement and a loss of motivation are prevalent.
Establishing a base-line for self-care is an important first step in developing a balanced lifestyle. Take a proactive approach to self-care by engaging in self-reflection and developing a preventative plan through the following steps:
- Identify situations of high stress or burnout and work to recognize the warning signs, approach taken, resulting experience, and any improvements that can be made.
- Follow-up by recognizing areas of improvement by completing a self-care assessment.
- Identify current habits and areas of success as well as areas that need to be developed further.
- Lastly, create positive habits that will further strengthen areas of personal well-being.
Creating a self-care plan will provide a road-map toward a balanced lifestyle. This plan specifically defines current strategies for managing stress and well-being, identifies activities for future use, lists obstacles which prevent practicing good habits and helps to discover solutions to negate obstacles. Stress and negative life-triggers occur often and frequently without warning. Practicing self-care can assist in navigating multiple life-stressors.
Scott Degan, physical therapist at Lafene Health Center explains why self-care is important for him:
“Self-care is something I have to prioritize, otherwise it’s too easy to push it aside. I find that it helps to prioritize it if I make it a habit. Exercising right after I get home from work instead of turning on the TV, going to bed at the same time each night, setting aside time to do the hobbies I enjoy, etc. If I stay consistent with those self-care habits, then it’s easier to get back on track after those hectic days where my schedule is thrown off.”
How are you practicing self-care? HCS encourages you to take a picture and share your response on social media and use the #workingwildcats hashtag. As a reminder, these articles are archived on the HCS website.