Self Care Isn't Selfish

Providers need to practice Self Care too! When we practice self-compassion, we heal our bodies, minds, and spirits with kindness. The HALT acronym reminds us to watch for signs of being Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. When we notice those feelings, we need to HALT what we are doing and reach for our self-healing list of ideas.

Some Ideas for Your Self-Healing List...

Remember the Positive-- There’s a reason that hospitals post photos of healthy grown up kids in their NICU preemie ward--- it’s a powerful and hopeful reminder of past successes. You can try that too! Make a memory jar or scrap book of positive memories, success stories, thank you notes, professional compliments etc.

Write yourself a Self-Care Prescription. Add it to your daily To Do list and make it just as important as your work tasks.

By the way-- checking things off on a to-do list can help us feel better too! I use this one:

Nurture Your Spirit with gardening, tai chi, yoga, prayer or meditation. Take a digital detox- turn off technology one day per week or during certain hours each day.

Go Green and get some Vitamin D- soak up some sunshine and breathe fresh air. MN winter getting you down? Bring some greenery indoors. Add plants to your work space. Or try some virtual outdoor adventures!

Writing-- Get the ideas out of your head. Use a journal if you want to save and read it later. Or- just type and delete. Try Penzu, a free online journal.

Take a Relaxing Break-- Have some herbal tea, try a face mask or some pampering, take a nap or a warm bath. Try aromatherapy. Even just holding a hot, wet washcloth on your face can feel nice. Who says this has to wait until bedtime or Sunday afternoon. If you are working virtually, carve out 30 minutes and try it now.

Try Chunking--- Ok so this doesn't really have anything to do with pizza. "Chunking" means breaking your work day into "slices" of time to accomplish specific tasks. Break large tasks into smaller ones. Plan breaks in between stressful meetings or activities. (And- when in doubt, eat some pizza. )

A calm down space. We encourage calm spaces for students in classrooms or for kids to use at home. But, adults need their own special zen space, too! What makes you feel happy? Make a grownup version of a wellbeing kit. Or, find a virtual "happy place" online. (Try searching the word "ambiance" on Youtube.)

Cuddle/ Touch/ Massage--- pets, family members, yourself.

Try these techniques to give yourself a massage

Watch a show or read something inspiring. Does your brain need a break? Then try some comedy or fantasy. Are you feeling stuck in a rut at work? Give your brain something new to learn that is different from what you usually works on.

Clean/organize if clutter stresses you out. Organize your workspace to make it feel more inviting. Clear off your desk (and your computer desktop!)

Be Creative with crafts, knitting, music, dance, cooking, photography etc! Don't have any musical instruments at home? Practice with virtual instruments! When is the last time you tried finger painting or water coloring? Try online coloring and art activities.

Get Physical- Try something new like a sliding disk workout. Don't have sliding disks? That's ok- try a sliding workout with towels. Or try some of these FREE At Home Workouts

Set More Boundaries. Practice saying NO more often. If you are working from home- give yourself "office hours." You don't always have to reply to emails right away and it's ok to schedule down time. Try letting go a bit- it's ok if you are not in charge or the expert all the time.

Check in with colleagues, family, friends. Ask for help when you need it. Debrief after a hard day.

When possible, make a phone call or use a video chat app so you can hear tone of voice and see faces.

Offer to read a book or play games with a friend/ family member's kids online. It will give them a break and make you smile. Try

Don't forget that laughter is the best medicine! If you don’t feel like laughing…that's ok. Try faking it. Science says that even fake laughing can improve health and reduce stress. Watch this video about Laughter Yoga below and then give it a try.

And remember that helpers need help too. Go here for a list of FREE Help for Helpers.

Visit our Virtual Calm Room

If you missed it, watch Dr. Aja King's training: Heal the Healer