In the work we do, we often spend the majority of our time hearing about the worst in people’s lives. Oftentimes, we work tirelessly to bring out the strengths in others or shed light on the positive possibilities in a difficult situation. There is so much beauty and purpose in our work, but immersing yourself pain of others can easily wear you down. From the moment you set foot in the School of Social Work, students and professors alike promote the importance of self-care, which is a practice I had never taken seriously before. As a working professional, self-care for me consisted of the occasional ‘treat yo self’ day with some of my close friends, ie. brunch, pedicures, and good-natured shenanigans.
Although, I still love a good old-fashioned ‘treat yo self’ day, I found that it wasn’t as fulfilling as it had been. Sure, I would feel great for that day, but soon after, I would be right back in a ‘funk’. After exploring a few different outlets, I finally found what really sustains me physically, mentally, and emotionally. LIFTING HEAVY WEIGHTS. Lol…now I know that may seem strange out of context, but I’m so serious. Earlier this year, I took advantage of a Groupon and tried Crossfit for the first time and it seriously changed my life. There is something so empowering about being able to do your first handstand EVER (see photo) or beating your personal record for deadlifts.
So…what if back squats and Olympic lifts aren’t your thing?? That’s okay! When you come to UNC, I encourage you to find your self-care of choice or check out the Self-Care Caucus at the School of Social Work if you need a few ideas. In the work we do, it is just as important to care for ourselves as much as we care for others.