My friend Emily and I 🙂
Ever heard the saying practice what you preach? Self care is a term thrown around in conversations throughout the social work profession but definitely one that is hard to practice despite all the preaching. Homework gets in the way, your field placement needs you, you need to do chores, pay the bills, or cook dinner and you say to yourself “but I HAVE to do this right now, I’ll go on vacation later.” But “later” never comes because there’s always going to be homework, chores, bills, or dinner.
The above paragraph definitely describes me and that’s why I decided to replace the word “later” with the word “now.” Despite all of the homework, chores, and bills that need to be paid my brain was fatigued and saying “stop” and I couldn’t wait until later, I needed to do self care now, so I went on a Road Trip!!!!!
Like I’ve posted in the past I went to college in Illinois before coming to North Carolina. I graduated in 2009 and haven’t been back since graduation so I felt like it was time to go back and see old friends, visit my old stomping grounds. So I drove through West Virginia, Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana to get to Illinois blasting my road trip cds all the way and enjoying the pretty scenery. 12 hours later I arrived, to high winds and freezing cold temperatures, a far cry from the 75 degree weather I had experienced in NC.
My best friend still lives near my old college so I spent a lot of time with her catching up on life, grad school, and living in the south. But it was also my college’s homecoming and I was able to catch up with a lot of other friends, play games, and talk just like old times. Plus, my college was opening their new chapel building and I was able to go to the dedication service which was a once in a lifetime experience. But, until I was there in Illinois I didn’t really realize how much I needed the self care and how I had neglected taking care of myself.
The pipe organ in the new chapel. It is the second largest in Illinois and was made in Italy.
The outside of the new chapel!!!!
Now, a week after my road trip my mind is clearer than ever, and I am rejuvenated and able to truly participate in my classes, focus on my assignments, and learn about the social work profession in a way that I hadn’t since the first few weeks of class in the summer.
So I wrote all of this to say PLEASE don’t forget about self care. Whether you decide to come to UNC or go to another school for your MSW, self care is still essential and if you hear it being preached, practice it!