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Let's Learn About Self-Care - A Conversation with Karisa Haverkamp

April 5, 2023

The Caring Support Podcast has been joined again by the lovely Karisa Haverkamp, Registered Psychotherapist, Founder and Clinical Director of Blossoms Counselling in Brantford, Ontario. We are back with another Caring Support Care Kit episode where this week we are going to learn all about self-care.

Tell Us About Yourself.

I'm a Registered Psychotherapist and Certified Perinatal Mental Health Specialist. I work primarily with young moms, working moms. We do witness and see a lot of burnout and caregiver stress through the roles that they carry. I also have experience working with complex trauma on the Six Nations Grand River Reserve and I've been working for ten years in the field in general.

What is Self-Care?

Self-care is pretty much what it says; it's care of yourself. It is the practice of taking an active role in protecting your own well-being and happiness, in particular, during busy or stressful periods of life when it's the hardest and most important. Self-care is making sure that you have intentional moments throughout each day, whether it's one or two or three, where you do something that brings you joy or peace or calm. That can look like different things for different people. Self-care can be many things, and it doesn't have to be complicated or expensive or hard to incorporate into life.

What are some easy and maybe low-cost self-care activities that anyone could do? Not just health care workers or even if you have some specific ones for health care workers.

I often will have people take up a hobby that involves your hands and your mind. Sewing, colouring, puzzle making, things like that can be very helpful. Whatever suits your fancy or makes you happy. Self-care is different for different people and can be very helpful. I find if you use your hands, it can be a very helpful thing. Taking up hobbies is great self-care and those don't have to be expensive hobbies. There's even apps for colouring. They're super fun for people.

Other things that you can do is relational and that’s where you're expressing your needs to people. You're asking for help, you're asking for support, you are connecting intentionally with people who care about you and doing check-ins. At work that can look like, if you have a good relationship with your employer, you can do regular check-ins with your employer about how you're functioning, the workplace, whether you're struggling at all, what can be changed for you.

It can be helpful to give yourself mental space. That can include things like unplugging from devices and social media, etc., where you have moments or even 10 minutes at a time where you have mental space to just be calm and intentional.

I know that people that I've talked to who struggle with burnout and anxiety, it can be hard to be present and to be able to find yourself being in the moment. Things like being intentional, what we call mindful living, can be really helpful in terms of something as simple as running your hands under cold water and feeling the cold water, or when you're eating food to take a deep breath and then intentionally chew the bite and feel it in your mouth and swallow it and taste it. Or when you're hugging a loved one to feel them against you and to take in that moment. Those kinds of things can be really simple, but really helpful and grounding.


About Karisa Haverkamp

Karisa Haverkamp is a Registered Psychotherapist and certified perinatal mental health specialist.  Karisa has a private practice in Brantford ON.  Karisa empowers women to live authentic and fearless lives during pregnancy, motherhood and beyond.  Karisa treats anxiety, depression and chronic stress. She has 10 years of experience in the field including working with people from six nations of the grand river as a complex trauma therapist. Karisa is a mother of four and enjoys reading, running and weightlifting. Karisa is passionate about creating safe space to empower women to gain clarity and connection and to move forward with greater calm, confidence and joy.

About The Author
Cali Wiersma
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