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The importance of 360 Degree Self Care in this time of COVID-19

Many of you will be familiar with Baptist Care SA’s 360o model of self-care, but as our journey with COVID-19 tips into another year, it seems appropriate to revisit it again.

We know from the work of Bessell van der Kolk, Laura Lipsky and others, that none of us are immune to the effects of the ongoing trauma exposure that comes both vicariously through our client’s stories and directly as we deal with client behaviour. Further, they tell us that trauma has a way of finding the chinks in our armour. This is why a 360o approach to self-care is so essential.

This image shows the four domains of self-care.

It is common for our focus to sit in just one of these four domains… for us to put all our self-care eggs in one basket, so to speak. For example, to use sport as our primary, and sometimes only, means of self-care. For others, our Spiritual resources may be the primary basis of our self-care, and so on. In fact, thoughts like “As long as I have my family and friends, I’m OK” are often used to excuse our singular focus.  However, the truth is that we need to be building our resilience across all four self-care domains.

Of course, pursuing one domain may address other domains. For example, sport may also be an important source of relational connection. The key here is to be intentional. To ask yourself regularly “What am I doing to address each domain?” and not just rely on the casual spillover from your primary focus domain.

The reason why this is so important in a time of COVID-19 is because not only does the risk, change and uncertainty COVID-19 brings to our world pose its own direct challenge to our resilience, it also hinders our ability to replenish resilience at the very time we need it the most. As restrictions come and go we can easily lose one or more of the activities that comprise our self-care regime. It can be all too easy to not replace these lost activities and so our 360o self-care is slowly eroded and with it our resilience.

So, as we collectively learn to live in this new world, my prayer is that we will all learn to be flexible and adapt our 360o self-care every time COVID-19 impacts our lives.


Ian Warner
Staff Chaplain

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