Evidence-Based Self-Care Practices to Promote Wellness and Combat Stress and Burnout
This webinar will review some of the research on stress and burnout and how school psychologists can practice and promote self-care to support their own personal mental health and the health of their colleagues.
- Paula Gill Lopez, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychological and Educational Consultation, Fairfield University (CT)
- Stacy Kalamaros Skalski, PhD, NASP Director of Professional Policy and Practice
- Kathy Cowan, NASP Director of Communications
Sample Enduring Self-Care Practice
Savoring the good is an enduring self-care, mindfulness practice that, through neuroplasticity, can change our natural inclination for negativity to one of positivity (Bryant et al., 2007, Carter, 2015, Hanson, 2013). The practice described here is focused on the holidays, but its benefits are achieved by savoring anything that elicits positive feelings. This practice asks you to look for positive facts and let them become positive experiences (Hanson, 2013).Close your eyes and find your breath. Focus on your breath for several counts.Think of holidays gone by. Identify a holiday memory that you love. It could be something that you look forward to every year or something that happened once when you were six but gives you great joy to remember.
1. Savor the positive experience
- Relive the memory.
- Take it in through your five senses. See what/who is there (sight), notice scents around you (smell), listen intently (sound), notice how your body/skin feels (touch), and taste whatever is there (taste).
- Feel it in your body and emotions.
2. Immerse yourself in the positive experience. Let it soak into your brain and body. Record it profoundly in emotional memory.
3. Stay in your memory, breathing into it for a few moments fully experiencing it in mind, body, and spirit.
4. When you're ready, open your eyes.
When you practice SAVORING THE GOOD during positive events in real time, you create neural pathways of positivity more easily and that are easier to revisit. Try this practice during the holidays and beyond, scanning the world for the positives and absorbing them into mind, body and spirit.
Excerpted from the handout Evidence-Based Self-Care Practices to Promote Wellness and Combat Stress and Burnout. See the handout for more information and references.