In taking care of others, it’s common that health care providers forget to care for themselves, too. No matter how hectic the days get, it’s always necessary to give yourself a little love. This isn’t selfish. In fact, when you love yourself, you’re also loving those around you as well.
When you’re feeling your best physically and emotionally, you’re more equipped to handle all of your life’s stressors. More so, where your work itself is filled with long days and stressful environments. If you don’t take good care of yourself, eventually, your exhaustion will get the best of you.
Self-care doesn’t always have to be long and expensive. Even as simple as reading a good book or insights from Ed Latimore, as well as having a hot bath after your long working hours is more than enough. The key is, whatever it is you’re doing, make sure to set aside time and love for yourself.
That said, here are five ways that self-care can benefit healthcare providers:
- Enables You To Bounce Back From Stress, Trauma Burnout
One of the major problems of many people today, emotionally, is that it’s just difficult to bounce back from stress or trauma. All the more is this evident in the healthcare industry, wherein day after day, stress piles up one after the other. When this happens, it can lead to burnout.
Don’t let this reach that point. Burnout due to trauma from stress will hurt not just yourself, but even those around you. Your relationships suffer because you’re no longer a happy and positive person. When left to prosper, your physical health could also be on the line.
Take it easy on yourself, and allow yourself some recovery time. It’s as easy as taking short breaks within the day. Perhaps during your lunch break, you can take a walk around the hospital gardens for some fresh air. Or, after work, you can take a short walk in the park, listen to good music, or even delight yourself in a short massage.
Since you’re busy working in the healthcare industry, giving this extra time for relaxation may take a little getting used to. But eventually, you’ll realize the positive effect that this brings in your life. Soon enough, you’ll realize that giving yourself that TLC (tender loving care) was the best decision ever.
- May Boost Physical Health
Loving yourself can also boost your physical health because you’re now making that conscious effort to take good care of your health. One can’t say that they love themselves when they’re being so negligent about their health habits. Hence, as you make this a priority, your health improves as well.
Supposed you were negligent about your diet and proper exercise. You eventually gained weight and started to feel the negative effects this negligence has on your body. Remember that it’s more than just the physical looks per se. It’s also about how being overweight can eventually lead to many other health issues surrounding heart health.
Once you start exercising because you realize you owe it to yourself to take care of your body, not only do you shed off those extra pounds, but you’ll become healthier, too.
- Makes You More Productive
As of writing, healthcare workers are under so much pressure. In fact, many of you who are reading this might have had to cover extra shifts or work longer hours because of the pandemic. Hence, it’s not surprising that you may have also been stretching your body way beyond its limit.
While you might think this is good, not giving yourself that time to relax is actually counter-productive. Plus, you’re making yourself prone to work accidents simply because you’re overtired. If you take the time to slow down, you’ll find that you become more productive at work because you’re well-rested, happier, and you’ve eaten well.
- Helps You Become More Resilient
Another very important character trait that healthcare workers today should possess is resilience. There’s no denying that the world people live in today is scary. If you succumb to this fear and difficulty, then it’ll be difficult to survive.
Here’s a concrete case in point. Imagine you’re a nurse working in the pandemic ward where every day, in your workplace, you see ten people die alone in your shift. All you see is the sadness of it all, being away from their families, and only saying their goodbyes through the screen. If you aren’t resilient enough to handle this, it can get to you. This can be very emotionally exhausting and mentally taxing.
Thus, the need for a breather. You need to take your mind off those scenarios rather than bring it with you at home. After seeing the darkness of the ward for the entire day, go ahead and feel the warmth of the sun. This can make you stronger and better equipped to handle what you know to be another heartbreaking work day tomorrow.
- Improves Your Self-Compassion
Often, it’s so easy to be nice to others yet so difficult to be nice to yourself. When you compliment another person, have you thought about complimenting yourself the same way, or does it seem foreign to you? How about those voices inside your head that you’ve allowed dictating your feelings? Can you say these about other people? Perhaps not because you think it’d hurt them. So, if you can’t say those negative things to others, then why allow them to feed on your mind?
When you practice love, you also begin to be more compassionate about yourself. No, you’re not a failure on the first day of your caregiving internship because your patient passed away. They’ve been terribly sick even before you started working. Take it easy on yourself.
The more you love yourself, the more warmth you can also feed your heart and soul. Instead of letting those negative emotions control you, you’re able to see things from a brighter and better perspective.
When you take care of yourself, you’re nurturing your body, mind, and spirit. Working in healthcare should tell you by now that if you want to be at your best state, health-wise, it’s not just enough to focus on your physical health. You’ve got to love yourself in every aspect that love covers–even mentally and emotionally.
This list of benefits above should convince you that giving yourself that extra love is always a good idea. So, start today.