Anyone who has spent a few months working in the health care field knows how mentally and physically stressful this job can be. Long hours on your feet, heavy loads to lift and the burden of caring for very sick and possibly dying patients can quickly wear on you. This is why great self-care is vital to your sanity and overall health.
However, while you have most likely heard much about the desperate need for quality self-care for medical workers, you may not know how that should look in your life. If you are ready to start taking better care of your overall health and wellness despite your hectic, wearing job, take a few ideas from this list and work them into your next workweek or weekend away from your job.
10 Tips to Better Self Care for Medical Professionals
- Find a way to meditate daily. Meditation is a great way to clear your mind of stressful thoughts and to ground yourself. If you have never meditated before, you do not have to feel as if you need to be perfect at completing long meditation sessions immediately. Instead, find an app that starts with one or two minutes of quiet meditation at a time, and work up from there.
- Spend time with family or friends with whom you are incredibly comfortable. When you are with these people, you can just be yourself and tell them your worries and concerns without fear. Unloading the things on your mind can bring you great emotional relief.
- Exercise regularly. At first, exercising may seem to drain your energy, but the more you do it, the more energizing it will become. Aerobic exercise releases feel-good chemicals in your brain that give you a slight feeling of natural euphoria.
- Try yoga. If you do not have enough energy for aerobic exercise, consider yoga, which can provide a gentler form of working out along with some time for meditation.
- Take care of your spiritual health. Although oft-forgotten, your spiritual side directly influences your mental state, which then affects your physical health.
- Get a massage. One of the best ways to relax in no time at all is with a massage. Consider a full-body massage at a local spa, or opt for a seated shoulder massage if you do not have much time.
- Step out into nature. Taking a hike or even sitting outdoors gives you fresh air, sunlight and beautiful surroundings, all of which can quickly lift your mood.
- Take a weekend trip. If you have some extended time off, take a weekend trip to a new location. Traveling somewhere new can raise your horizons and can take your mind off work.
- Take a nap. Even a 20-minute power nap can adjust your mood significantly.
- Walk barefoot on the grass. It may seem crazy, but studies are showing several benefits for “earthing”, as it’s called.
This list of ideas should help jog your mind into thinking of those activities that most inspire, relax or reinvigorate you. Keep in mind that every person is different, and what may sound like a fabulous self-care idea to your coworker may sound like another unwanted job to you. Consider where you feel the most relaxed and which activities fill you with a sense of calm or with new energy. Then, use your imagination to craft the perfect self-care plan for yourself to reward yourself after a long day of work or to reinvest in yourself after a particularly difficult week.