For some people, the thought of self-care might feel self-indulgent. When we have assignments due and other responsibilities like clubs, athletics, work or volunteering, taking a break might seem optional.
If we constantly tax our bodies and minds without giving them the rest and rejuvenation they need, our bodies will be living in a perpetual stress-responsive state far too often. Over time, having these stress hormones pumping through our bodies will take a toll, showing up in emotional overwhelm, physical illness, or a mental health issue..
Choosing to work under the umbrella of peer support is a very fulfilling experience for most. However, like any role we take on, it is another demand on our time and energy. The relational nature of this work also means that it draws on not just our time or our physical energy, but our emotional energy as well.
When we get burned out, we just don’t have much left to give to anyone else. That is why it is non-negotiable that when committing to peer support work – or any kind of interpersonal, relationship-based work – that we also make a commitment to take care of our own personal well-being.