As a health care professional, you are exposed to a variety of mental, emotional and physical stressors that can have an impact on your own health and well-being. It’s easy to tell others to practice self-care: it’s difficult to follow it yourself, especially when you have patients/clients who depend on you for a variety of supports. Yet it’s incredibly important that you make self-care a part of your own routines so you can continue to be a support to others.
Some examples of ways to support your mental, physical, and emotional health include:
- Saying no. Sometimes we don’t have the capacity to take on a project, meet up with someone, or take on someone else’s burdens – especially when you already do them for your job. It’s okay to acknowledge that
- Taking your vacation time
- Scheduling free hours to do whatever you want
- Talking with a therapist
- Keep a cathartic journal
- Ask for help from others
There are many activities or actions that can be considered self-care if they make you happy and bring relaxation and clarity.
Health care professionals experience high levels of stress and emotional involvement, which can be incredibly draining. It can manifest in cognitive and physical symptoms that make it hard to complete your work. Understanding and addressing compassion fatigue/burnout can help you care for yourself while still providing effective support to your patients and clients.