Self care for health professionals is crucial to avoid burnout. Health professionals everywhere are experiencing burnout and exhaustion. Do you feel that you’re at the end of your rope after a tough year of Covid challenges. What can you do when you’re on the front lines of every medical situation? You put your lives at risk for disease and injury every day to care for others. And yes, you’re loved and appreciated for saving lives and for always being there, but you need reminders for wellness and self care for yourself to break the cycle of work and more work and overload depression.
Why self care for health professionals is often overlooked
When dealing with overwhelming and traumatic circumstances day in and day out, it can feel almost impossible to pause and consider wellness or treating yourself. If other people’s lives are on the line, you don’t stop to take a break, have a healthy meal (as opposed to grabbing a high calorie meal on the go) or just love yourself a little. Even if you can’t get away to a paradise island, there are some things you can do to lessen your stress and improve your wellbeing for little or no cost. Here are our top self care tips for health professionals.
Treat yourself to look and feel good
Looking good may seem unimportant, but everything you do for yourself increases your mood and wellbeing. There are a lot of things you can do from the comfort of your own home to look great. Whether it’s shopping for some cosmetics, shoes or new scrubs at online shops such as keswi.com, getting something new to look better is a great a tool for improved mental health. We love it because you also get the treat of receiving something in the mail.
Get fit at home
Are you at a desk talking to people all day? Or are you on your feet running all day. If you’re a health professional that’s on the move, you may think you’re getting enough exercise. But the physical work of your job is not the kind of exercise that provides real physical fitness or stress relief, especially when you’re in the middle of a Pandemic. You still need a fitness routine that helps stretch your muscles and free your mind.
Whether it’s ten minutes of body sculpting or tai chi, or yoga, you can get the benefits of exercise that boosts your mood and helps with sleep without leaving your home. Yoga, Tai Chi, and other fitness routines can be found on Youtube. Try them out to see which one works for you. Moving is even more crucial for those whose work is sedentary. We’re not kidding, just 10 minutes a day can help you lose weight if you need to, but more important helps your mental wellness as well.
Pre plan to improve your nutrition
We know you live on caffeine and sugary, fatty foods. You may love chips, but they’re addictive and provide no nutrition for your brain. Easy-to-get foods are not brain foods and can put you on the rollercoaster of sugar highs and lows. You know how that goes. You’re treating your tastebuds but not helping your body or brain. How can you improve your nutrition when you don’t want to add meal planning to your heavy workload? Pre plan. Once a week make your list of foods that boost your energy during the day and try to avoid picking up the last minute grab and go. What drinks can you have that don’t increase your caffeine intake.
Excessive coffee consumption may cause headaches, exhaustion, and tension. Try to add more vegetables and fruit to your diet in place of that muffin. Organize your meal plan at beginning of the week. Increase the amount of protein and whole grains in your meals as well. It may take a little work at first, but the end result of better nutrition is a healthy body and brain.
Get enough rest may be the very best self care for health professionals
Having adequate sleep will reduce the odds of developing chronic health issues. It’s also a good way to stay focused at work and prevent medical mistakes. Sleep is also the best antidote to a rough day, and it can do good for your well-being and energy levels.
Strive to get enough hours of sleep each night. Unplugging before going to bed is also a smart practice. Switch off the appliances about an hour before bedtime. Be sure to stay in a dark, comfortable and cool room for your body to release the hormones required to fall asleep soundly. Get a sound machine or listen to a boring tape.
Take short breaks whenever you can
Taking a quick break outside to get some fresh air can be challenging during a busy shift, but breaks can improve your energy and mood. Stress and fatigue have a multiplier effect, which means that the more stressed and tired you are, the more strongly these stressors may trigger you.
Taking a break for several minutes, outside if possible, allows you to return to work with renewed energy and concentration. Having a break could also help you keep your balance and stay motivated during the day.
Drink enough water
You always advise your patients to stay hydrated, and you must do so as well. Stay hydrated by being conscious of your water consumption. You may find it difficult to drink water on a busy shift, particularly when you can’t go on bathroom breaks.
Staying hydrated is always vital for balanced health—more so if you’re performing physically exhausting work. Keep a water bottle with you or visit water fountains as much as possible to increase your water intake.
Take time for the people you love and work with
You may not have a lot of time for play and support for your loved ones, but play is one of the most important things you can do for family and yourself. Consider what you do for play and relaxation. Is it games, puzzles, making dinner together, watching a family TV program. Listening to or making music. Put down your devices and focus on those around you when you’re at home. If you can avoid the extra shift or overtime, stop for a week or so to get refreshed. You need it for your family, coworkers and friends.
Breathe and meditate
Don’t think we’re all woo woo when we talk about breathing and meditation. It’s science. You can change your heart rate with breathing exercises and brain function with meditation. For relieving stress there’s nothing like this one-two wellness punch that you can do for yourself any time. Just a few moments of letting go will always improve your mood. Use these tips to improve your life and you won’t regret it.