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Stress Prevention and Intervention Through Self-care


As discussed earlier, self-care can be understood as an individual’s ability to address personal and occupational issues in proactive, health-promoting ways. Any discussion of self-care, however, would be incomplete without a section on some of the actual skills and strategies for self-care maintenance.


Personal Self-care

Identifying the source (or sources) of stress in your life is often the first step towards change. A certain amount of self-awareness is implied if individuals are to do this for themselves. When sources of stress are properly identified, individuals can then begin problem-solving and developing strategies to address them.
 
All of the suggestions included in this section and many others might be components of a solution to deal with a stress-inducing situation. Sometimes, however, people are only able to notice that they feel stressed but cannot readily identify the reasons why. In this event, it may be wise to enlist outside help. In the most extreme case, people do not even recognize the symptoms of stress- they just think this is the way life is. This situation may also require the efforts of an outside source for assistance. Following, however, is a partial list of the different ways to address stress.
There is an underlying theme to each of these suggestions: each indicates the importance of self-awareness. In many ways, you may want to consider self-awareness as the single-most important key for fostering your own self-care. It is self-awareness that enables individuals to continuously monitor themselves and to make adjustments in their lives as things come up. Lacking self-awareness, small issues can grow larger thereby leading to increased stress. To the contrary, individuals who are highly self-aware have the ability to make more immediate decisions about how to deal with issues as they come up. This promotes stress reduction.


Professional Self-care

The skills utilized to deal with personal stress hold true in the workplace, too. Monitoring yourself and your responses to the work environment are key elements of professional self-care. Some of the following additional suggestions can prove beneficial in heading off professional stress as well as dealing with it once it occurs.


SUMMARY

In order to effectively serve those with whom we work, it is important that we find ways to take care of ourselves in the process. The previous section provided an overview of self-care. Stress was defined and some of its causes were presented. As a result, readers hopefully have a more comprehensive understanding of the interrelationship between stress and self-care.