In order to be in social work for the long haul, I have become deeply committed to self-care in the intense way that I do everything.
I exercise daily.
I take supplements (salmon oil, b vitamins, etc.) and prescribed medication.
I eat a lot better - protein shakes to replace meals regularly, more fruit and veggies, salads, water, nuts instead of chips, cottage cheese with pineapple instead of ice cream, watermelon instead of pastries, etc.
But one of my favorite new self-care regimens is monthly massage. I have come back to this tried and true method of releasing accumulated toxins and feeling downright yummy.
There is a spa in Pasadena (you know the one) that offers a deal - $79 is charged to your account every month for a year in exchange for a 50-minute relaxation massage and use of their jacuzzi/steam room/sauna. Since I don't buy morning lattes or designer shoes or drive a gas guzzler or have a car payment, I can well afford this health maintenance package. In fact, when I go back to work full-time, I will bump up my monthly massages to weekly. I think my face and joy will be a walking advertisement for massage.
I like interviewing massage therapists about how they manage to help release the toxins of others without taking them on. This massage therapist said that she allows the toxins to go into the ground. I asked, "but, how?" She said that she visualizes energy coming through her via the crown of her head and the toxins being absorbed into the ground. She appeared just as friendly, warm and energized after my massage as she had been before. I can't always say that about myself after meeting with every client. There is something there, I believe. Something that social workers need to pay attention to and cultivate, beginning in graduate school. I wish I had several lifetimes to pursue all my research interests.
Whatever floats your wagon (I love mixing metaphors - such a faux pas), do it with relish. Yes, you matter, so enjoy.