Today’s post is an interview with Ellen Rondina, the author of a new book called Self-Care Revolution. It’s an important book I wish I’d had when I started my career as psychologist.

Barb:  What’s the story behind your new book, SELF-CARE REVOLUTION?

Ellen:  Helping professionals who have committed their life to serving others are committed to an ethical practice that includes self-care, but we are living in a time of increased violence, fear, anxiety, and a time of dwindling resources to the people and places who need them the most.

So the work of these helping professionals: teachers, social workers, mental health and other health providers, clergy, first responders, leaders supporting others, and those who are on the front lines, is getting so much harder.

Our work stressors and demands and the lack of focus and support around Self-Care has made it difficult for helping professionals to practice Self-Care in any kind of sustained and meaningful way.

We are:

  • working longer hours
  • have more clients
  • are faced with increased need of an aging population
  • a growing opioid addiction epidemic,
  • school shootings that are in the daily news
  • Just to name a few tangible stressors, and helping professionals are on the front lines.

Barb:  How did you come to write this book? What is your personal story with Self-Care?

Ellen:  I have been on my own path of Self-Care, wellness, and healing for more than thirty years, following an early childhood with a mix of wonderful love and opportunities and also significant stress and trauma.

In response to this environment, I spent a lot of time thinking about these two opposing experiences coexisting and what it meant. I thought a lot about relationships and human behavior and wellness and spirituality and

what I believed about it all. I also ruminated on social justice issues like poverty, violence, and disease, and why people might experience these. I spent hours lying in bed as a child thinking about these concepts and acting them out by myself, taking on different roles and creating new possibilities.

I also got sick both physically and emotionally and began a biofeedback and guided imagery program at the age of sixteen. This was my first experience with meditation and learning to mindfully be aware of my body and my body’s response to my mind. I started going to acupuncture three times a week and was taking herbs and learning more about a natural way of healing.

My very early path of search and discovery eventually led me to a master’s degree in social work, a professional coaching certificate, a ministerial degree, and expertise in several healing modalities. I have worked in universities, private schools, nonprofit organizations, public schools, and with my own business, and all of my life’s work and my formal education has a foundation of wellness and Self-Care. I have observed colleagues and agencies and the system of helping professions, and listened to others’ stories of exhaustion and overload and roadblocks to self-care and this has all given me insight.

– Barbara Markway

Read more: 5 Self-Care Pillars for Helping Professionals

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