Self-Care

It is week 2 of the semester and I already find myself trying to get a hold of my Self-Care management.  Balancing class, course work, field, research, and personal life is a huge challenge.  What happens most often is that I am sure to complete and “check off” class, field work, readings, and papers while sliding Self-Care to the back burner.  BUT, I’ve figured out 2 new Self-Care items I’m committing to for this semester:

Reading a NON SOCIAL WORK book every night for at least an hour (currently it’s Stephen King’s “Dolores Claiborne”) and to fit in some exercise.  How do you fit in exercise while completing massive amounts of reading?  I’ve discovered the sit-down/lay-back bike in my apartment complex’s gym: bike and read at the same time, GENIUS!

Embrace Self-Care, be creative with it, and practice it faithfully!

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About Chris Nealy

I came to UNC as an undergrad studying pre-law and literature with aspirations of becoming a writer. After taking a job working direct support with teenagers with autism, I fell in love with helping people. I was recommended to study sociology by my advisor and have remained in the field ever since. After graduating and spending a couple of years doing project management for at-risk youth at a residential care facility, I returned to working with teens and young adults with autism. The courses provided through the School of Social Work have proven necessary for me to further develop the skills, knowledge, and professionalism required to effectively help on a higher level. Field education has provided some of the most unique learning experiences imaginable, from assessing preschoolers for a possible autism diagnosis to working with families to find local resources to better aid their children. Volunteering at UNC's Student Health Action Coalition (SHAC), a collaborative student-operated free clinic, has provided me with the opportunity to work with various clients in a clinical setting doing things such as discussing depression, connecting with community financial resources, and guiding women through the process of pregnancy testing and discussing their options. Returning to school last year was extremely challenging, but a move necessary for me to pursue the career I have chosen: working with families affected by autism and other developmental disabilities.
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