Healthy Lifestyle Assessment

Sometimes our work becomes too important in our lives and our clients/patients or our students become our main source of social contact. Without our knowing it, we can find ourselves in a “closed system”1, 5 contributing to diminished self awareness, susceptibility to boundary violations with our clients and feelings of “burnout.”

The following are some statements you can use to analyze your level of self-awareness and balance of work and life. If you come across a question that gives you an uneasy feeling, note it as something for further exploration. Develop an action plan as you would for a client/patient. Then make a commitment to revisit the item, say in 30 days to measure your progress. The greater number of low scores you indicate, the greater the need for concern.

Please rate the following
1 = Strongly Disagree thru 5 = Strongly Agree
Rating Action Steps Follow-up Date
1. I have mostly healthy relationships with family, friends, and colleagues. 1 2 3 4 5
2. I exercise regularly (3-6 days per week). 1 2 3 4 5
3. I do not smoke or use other substances as coping mechanisms. 1 2 3 4 5
4. I eat 4-5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. 1 2 3 4 5
5. I maintain a healthy weight (according to my doctor). 1 2 3 4 5
6. I have adequate time for leisure and participating in activities I enjoy outside of school/practicum/internship. 1 2 3 4 5
7. I am comfortable with my spirituality. 1 2 3 4 5
8. I feel that I have of control over the future of my career. 1 2 3 4 5
9. I stay current on the latest data and trends in my field. 1 2 3 4 5
10. I feel in control of my behavior and emotions. 1 2 3 4 5
11. I have sufficient support through a network of my peers. 1 2 3 4 5
12. I believe that I maintain healthy boundaries with my clients/patients/students/Professors/Supervisors/peers. 1 2 3 4 5
13. I feel adequately prepared to manage work challenges. 1 2 3 4 5
14. I am comfortable in crisis situations. 1 2 3 4 5
15. I have adequate support to deal with my own or a close family members’ chronic illness. 1 2 3 4 5
16. I have ample help with child/elder care. 1 2 3 4 5
17. I am engaged in an appropriate amount and level of professional activities (so that I am not over/under-whelmed). 1 2 3 4 5
18. I receive adequate rest (6-9 hours per night). 1 2 3 4 5
19. I am able to maintain my presence in my daily work rather than planning what I’ll do after work or over the weekend. 1 2 3 4 5
20. My schedule is well-balanced. 1 2 3 4 5
21. I hold myself to an adequate amount of breaks. 1 2 3 4 5
22. I recently said “no” to adding something to my plate. 1 2 3 4 5
23. I plan less critical tasks (paperwork, returning phone calls) during the times of the day when I don’t feel I work at my best. 1 2 3 4 5
24. I have been able to take one or more days off from work to relax in the past 6 months. 1 2 3 4 5
25. I am unbothered by my professional behavior. For example: I act ethically and in ways that I am proud of; I do not behave in any way that I feel I have to hide, cover up, or explain. 1 2 3 4 5
26. I call in when I am sick. 1 2 3 4 5
27. I have a trusted peer or mentor to provide me with honest feedback in case my personal life begins to interfere or affect my work (e.g., financial problems, conflict at home, love, personal or family illness). 1 2 3 4 5
28. I self-disclose appropriately. That is, I a disclose only the type and degree of information that is in the best interests of clients/patients/students/Professors/Supervisors/peers. 1 2 3 4 5
29. I am able to let go of my work and not allow related concerns to interfere in social or personal activities.2, 6 1 2 3 4 5
30. I stop to eat lunch and not work while eating. 6 1 2 3 4 5
31. I engage in regular positive experiences (e.g., reading the paper, taking a bubble bath, going for a walk, or spending time outdoors). 1 2 3 4 5
32. I don’t suffer from headaches, stomachaches muscle aches, or problems sleeping that have no medical explanation.6 1 2 3 4 5
33. I enjoy my work more than I am burdened by my career path. 1 2 3 4 5
34. I seek nurturance from friends, family and loved ones outside of the school or office in order to minimize locking myself into a “closed system.” 4 1 2 3 4 5

Scoring:

160-200 Congratulations, you may be a good role model for your peers! Maybe you wish to offer a seminar on balance and self-care for the rest of us?

120-159 O.K. you’re doing pretty well in most areas. You may want to take a look back over the questionnaire and identify some items that may need some attention.

80-119 Thank you for being honest. You are probably feeling pretty distressed and possibly overwhelmed. Would talking with a supervisor or other professional colleague be of help to set some self-care goals?

79 or below Take care of yourself, there are quite a number of items that need addressing. Self-care is an option but a requirement in order to be successful in helping others as well as yourself. Remember that NCPA’s Colleague Assistance Committee is available to make suggestions.

References:
1. Berger, B. A. (2000). Incivility. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 64, 445-450.
2. Fassel, D. (1990). Working ourselves to death – and the rewards of recovery. NY: Harper Paperbacks.
3. Killinger, B. (1997). Workaholics: The respectable addicts. Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books.
4. Norcross, J. C., and Barnette, J. E. (2008). Self-care as ethical imperative. The Register Report, 34, 21-27.
5. Plaut, S. M. (1993). Boundary issues in teacher-student relationships. The Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, 19, 210-219.
6. Robinson, B. E. (1989). Work addiction: Hidden legacies of adult children. Deerfield Beach, FL: Health Communications, Inc.
7. Webb, K. (2006). Self evaluation: How am I doing in my practice? The North Carolina Psychologist, 25, 1 & 16.