The start of spring can bring a renewed sense of purpose, a time to commit or recommit to goals and intentions, a sense of renewal and returning energy,  and a time to set priorities for the coming months.

For those in the non-profit and social services sector, a renewed commitment to practicing self-care should be at the top of our list. Self-care is often stressed as a core competency or mandate for those in the social services sector, yet many of us struggle to develop and sustain meaningful self-care practices.

Self-care is far from self-indulgence, rather it is the safeguard against burnout, compassion fatigue, and secondary trauma. Without self-care practices, we are attempting to carry out our daily task and fulfill our agencies mission without the necessary resources or equipment.

Developing your own self-care plan 

Unsure where to start?  The  University of Buffalo, School of Social Work has developed an online self-care starter kit that is an excellent resource for those who have been working in the social services sector for a few weeks to a few decades.  The kit includes tools to help you assess your coping strategies, identify your stressors, and develop a plan to help you build healthy habits and practices and protect against compassion fatigue.

You can see the full self-care starter kit here.