Emerge and Spread Your Wings

Cycle of Caring – Re-Creation

The last phase of Skovholt’s Cycle of Caring is Re-creation. The necessity for us to pause, relax, play and unload our work is highlighted at this time of year. As I write the last blog in this series (Cycle of Caring) it is the last few days before Christmas. The pace of life seems to speed up, the stress levels have been rising for weeks, and many people I encounter are exhausted and drained.

When describing the Re-creation phase in their book The Resilient Practitioner, Skovholt and Trotter-Mathison describe the importance of pushing the “off” button – “the getting away from work phase”. When you consider your work in the caring professions much of the cycle is giving out. Attaching, intervention and separating all involve a focus on “other care”. The last, but equally important phase of re-creation is “self-care”.

Without taking a replenishing break from our work, we drain our resilience, and over time make it impossible to remain in our professions in a sustainable way without burning out, or leaving.

Ways to incorporate Re-creation

While individuality plays a part in how we recharge, these are some suggestions:

  • Plan your breaks and annual leave through the year to ensure you regularly recharge
  • Consider your weekends as part of your restoration, rather than a time to catch up on work you haven’t finished
  • Engage in regular hobbies, interests, clubs, sports or other recreational activities to build structured time out into your week.
  • Create your own “down tools” routine at the end of each workday to leave behind your work, and switch off
  • Challenge any culture in your organisation of overworking, and be a role model for others by setting healthy work boundaries

In order to remain resilient in our chosen profession and to keep enjoying our work with others, we need to replenish ourselves regularly. Re-creation is the essential element that allows us to sustain a Cycle of Caring. As you take a summer break to replenish, spare some thought to how you may build Re-creation into the next decade of your work.