Carolyn Jeffries and Shari Tarver Behring
How to Create an Individualized Self-Care Plan
Step 1. Learn about the importance of self-care.
Educators are usually good at thinking about the well-being of others, but not about their own well-being – until it’s too
late and they are sick or burnt out. Self-care means taking responsibility for yourself to maintain a healthy and balanced
lifestyle at work and in your personal world through individually determined, proactive activities. Completing steps 2 - 7
can help you achieve that goal.
Step 2. Determine your stress level.
It’s important to recognize the presence of stress in your life and how it affects you. Many people don’t realize the effect
that stress has on their lives and health. One quick way to assess your stress level is to complete the informal inventory
below by checking off any effects of stress that you are currently experiencing.
Increased frequency of
Showing signs of
¨ general uneasiness
¨ impatience, short-temper
¨ negative, cynical
¨ low productivity, taking
¨ nervous, anxious
¨ helpless, not good enough
¨ withdrawal, being
¨ muscle tension
¨ overworked, out of control
¨ complaining frequently
Other ways to determine your stress level include completing a stress inventory (e.g.,
) or doing a personal assessment by simply looking at yourself in the mirror and honestly reflecting on how
you look and feel: are you happy, positive, and productive, or are you worn out, anxious, and unsatisfied?
Department of Educational Psychology & Counseling
Michael D. Eisner College of Education, CSUN