As a social worker, it is extremely important that you are taking care of yourself and that you have self-awareness of stressors and difficult situations, as well as enjoyments. Self-care is an ongoing process that needs to be utilized in order to ensure your best efforts to your clients. Below are some tools, found in the SWK 150: Human Relations Lab textbook, that can help identify actions you can take that encourage positive self care in your life.

Resources found from: Walker, V. (2010). Becoming Aware. Dubuque: Kendall Hunt Publishing Company.

For more information on self-care, check out the University of Buffalo Social Work page.

Faculty and Student Spotlight

It is often helpful to observe how others are practicing self-care in order to implement your own self-care plan. Here are some ways that faculty and students in the Social Work & Gerontology Department are continuing their practices of self-care. Do you have other ways that you practice self-care that you’d like to inform others about? Let us know!

    • Dr. Jen Clements: “Self-care has been an important part of my life as a social worker and now a social work educator. I enjoy being active and take yoga, Kung Fu and run.  I find that there is almost no issue in my life that cannot be solved by a long run.  My sister and I use running as a bonding time with each other even though she lives 2 hours away, we meet up for races and support each other in training.  I will be running the Denver Half Marathon in October and the New York City Full Marathon in November this year!”


    • Dr. Sam Benbow: “I wake up around 5 a.m. every morning and because it is quiet, I take the time to read my daily devotional entitled The One Year Uncommon Life Daily Challenges by Tony Dungy. I then sit and mediate for 30 minutes.  Late in the evening, I work out to T25 five to six days a week, which helps me to relax enough to fall asleep faster.  My goal is to build more time in my daily schedule to increase my work out to 60 minutes daily by the end of October.”


    • Jill Culler, MSW Student: “I've learned that true self-care takes work, and it involves being intentional about how I spend my time.  Zoning out with on Facebook or "venting" to a friend is OK every once and a while, but things like exercising, spending quality time with friends, or reading a book for fun are much more life-giving to me.”


    • Paul Gilmore, BSW Student: “When I feel burdened, my inclination is to seek out my home. Within my home, two locations that most appeal to me are my office and my backyard. My office is filled with many books, a collection of antique paperweights and mementos of happy life experiences. In the backyard are mature trees, borders of English gardens, islands of ivy, and my collection of bonsai trees. These two locations, my office and my backyard, along with the elements that make them unique soothe my anxiety, calm my mind, and serve to help me maintain a sense of well-being.”


  • Liz Shaffer, BSW Student: “I practice self-care by spending time alone painting. I find that to be relaxing as well as running to get exercise in each week.”