SustainHealth: Self-care in Healthcare
Considering we live in a busy world with hundreds of distractions and responsibilities, it can be so easy to not care for the most important person in the room, you!
Self-care is all about the essential need to take care of your body and your mind. This can be from simple everyday tasks or to putting some important time in your diary to focus on yourself and your needs.
Working in healthcare can be extremely rewarding but also a difficult career path as it is fast paced and many healthcare professionals don’t have the time during their shift to sit down, let alone eat something healthy. It involves long hours, a lot of emotions, aches, pains, and time away from family. Healthcare professionals are compassionate caretakers and tend to put themselves last after their job, patients, and loved ones. It can be so easy to forget to practice self-care when your job involves you caring for others. For the professionals on the front lines of healthcare, it’s important to allow time to be cared for while caring for others.
Here are a few ideas to help you keep track of your own health and not just those around you:
- Eating Right. You have to make sure that you are eating right which is important to staying at a healthy and keeping a positive energy balance.
- Emotional Support. Having someone to rely on when the chips are down is very important. Spend time to develop friendships that are supportive. Take time with your friends and loved ones and to talk about how you are coping with work and life demands.
- Regular Check ups. When you see your doctor regularly, they are able to detect health conditions early. By getting the correct health services, screenings, and treatment you are taking important steps toward living a longer, healthier life.
- Drink enough water. Aim for a glass of water every hour throughout the day if you can. In the winter it might be preferable to substitute for warm water with a squeeze of fresh lemon or herbal tea. Delicious!
- Time-out out from work. Take a few long deep breaths away from your computer screen and relax. Doing this throughout the day will give you a calming and energising effect. We can’t do a good job, if you job is all you do!
- Get some ‘me-time’ weekly. Do something that you love or relaxes you like a facial at home or joining a book club. This will make you feel happier and more energised.
- Exercise. Move your body every day, ideally through some form of exercise which you enjoy – walking, dancing, yoga, whatever feels good to you. You can even start with some simple stretches each morning and then a couple of times throughout the day to get your blood circulating.
- Take 3 deep breaths. Inhaling deeply can help energize and calm you. Try the breathing exercise called “three to be free” breathing. Three times a day, stop what you’re doing and take three deep breaths to free the tension, stress.
- Prepare ahead of time. Every evening before I finish up from work, I always ensure I have already planned for the next day to ensure everything is organised. Think about it – how you start your day sets the tone for the rest of it.