Self-Care During Coronavirus

Self-Care During Coronavirus

It may seem impossible at times, but taking time for self-care is important even in the midst of the chaos of dealing with COVID-19. The road ahead could be long and it’s not going to be easy along the way. That’s why it’s so important that you carve out time to take care of yourself so you can be ready to meet those challenges at your best. Sometimes it’s going to be difficult to make space for self-care when your days are grueling, filled with small victories and aching losses. It can be hard to balance your work and your personal life with everything going on, but remember that you’re not alone in this. Here are some of the ways you can care for yourself:

Stop and take a breath.

Working in healthcare right now is difficult in so many ways. You are moving fast all day and may feel like you can barely take a moment to rest. It’s okay to stop for a moment to catch your breath and consider when you last ate or had a drink of water. It’s important to grant yourself time for the essentials and care for your own wellbeing too. Take a quick break when you can and encourage others to take that time for themselves as well. Setting alarms to remind you to take a break or get a snack are a good idea to help enforce a routine that lets you engage in self-care. For some people, it helps to use that break to meditate alone for a few moments. For others, listening to music for a few minutes and disconnecting can be very relaxing. Take a walk, read a bit of a book, do stretches, take a little time to do whatever helps you recharge so you can get a mental break and come back feeling fresher.

Maintain healthy habits.

Whenever you can, stick to healthy eating and exercise routines. There will be days that it’s harder to do this, but it’s important to keep your body healthy so you can feel up to the challenge of each day. Stay away from empty calories and try to eat fresh foods that will give your body the energy it needs to keep going. In addition to maintaining these important routines, it’s also vital to do your best to get regular sleep. This is your body’s chance to recharge at the end of the day, so do your best to maintain a routine that allows you get in enough hours when possible. You can’t care for others if you don’t care for yourself first, but more importantly, you and your health matter too. Setting boundaries that allow you to care for yourself properly is a healthy habit as well, so don’t be afraid to say no to things that are keeping you from doing that.

Disconnect at the end of the day.

It can be hard to stop thinking about what happened at work when you get home, but you owe it to yourself as well as to your friends and family to put a pause on those stressors so you can be present. If you’re able to turn off your phone or mute emails for a while, do so. Take a break from the news, from the relentlessness of it all, and let your body and mind rest. It’s okay to tell the people in your life that you need a break from hearing about topics that make it harder for you to relax and recover. Maybe that means putting a limit on coronavirus-related conversations or questions or limiting TV time to happier topics. Set the boundaries you need in order to care for your own wellbeing right now. Those things will be there later if you need to pick them up again.

Reach out when you need someone to lean on.

It’s no secret that healthcare workers are experiencing the brunt of what is happening right now. We’ve heard about the depression, helplessness, moral injury, and overwork that frontliners are experiencing. If you are feeling overwhelmed by it all, don’t hesitate to reach out. When talking about these things with friends, family, or teammates is not enough, there are other resources too. If your employer has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or counselors available, take advantage of the chance to speak with a professional and have them help you work through what you are experiencing. They are here to help you during tough times and what is happening right now certainly qualifies. Healthcare workers are experiencing a huge amount of trauma and grief and it is only human to be affected by it. Don’t wait to reach out and don’t worry about your problems not being big enough to ask for help. We’re all in this together and they want to help you.

Are you a physician or advanced practice clinician looking to help out during COVID-19?

There is a need for clinicians across many specialties right now. Get in touch with MPLT Healthcare today so we can connect you with one of our locum tenens job opportunities.