Self-care. It’s more than the occasional bubble bath and unwinding with your favorite Netflix show. Sure, that can be part of it, but for more lasting wellness, it must be an active decision to give yourself the time and opportunities you need to be your best.
As a provider, you know mental and physical wellness hinges on how we look after ourselves and uphold healthy habits. If you’ve been noticing a spike in your stress levels and need to re-center, consider these ways you can give yourself the attention you need and deserve:
Find ways to get moving
Making rounds and working in a fast-paced environment – whether it’s a hospital, private practice or other setting – keeps you active. However, speed-walking from room to room isn’t enough to offer the relief and benefits of exercise.
According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, regular aerobic exercise is proven to decrease overall levels of tension, help stabilize mood, and improve sleep and self-esteem. Consider trying a new exercise class, picking up a new sport and joining a community league, or finding another active hobby you would enjoy.
Take a breath of fresh air
With an occupation in health care, it’s probably safe to say you spend most of your time indoors – whether it’s on the clock or once you’re able to unwind. Make a point to take advantage of the outdoor activities available where you live and practice. Whether it’s a hike, picnic or walk in the park, it can leave you feeling recharged, relieve stress and boost your mood.
Clear your schedule – for you
Life can be busy, especially physician life. It may seem like there’s always something to be done. Regardless, it’s important to give yourself the time and freedom to temporarily put stressful obligations on the back burner.
If the idea of simply taking time as needed feels too wasteful or impractical, it might help to schedule downtime for yourself. This can make it easier to step away, knowing you have a window to relax, and a designated time to pick up where you left off.
Check your habits
Is your dinner a granola bar and Powerade? Are you moonlighting and struggling to achieve restful sleep when you have the opportunity?
Take time to assess your sleep schedule, work schedule and eating habits; be honest with yourself about what you can handle and determine if your current lifestyle can sustain your wellness. Things like eating right and ensuring you’re getting enough rest are simple steps, but we often forget how impactful those positive practices can be for our mindset.
There’s a multitude of ways you can prioritize self-care. There’s no wrong approach, but it’s important to ensure the plans you make, time you set aside for yourself and your other habits you form can help you continue growing as an individual and health care worker.
For more articles and ways to relieve stress and find balance, visit www.magazine.practicelink.com.