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...
Walking---Take your next Zoom meeting or conference call out for a walk!
Or, try mindful walking by yourself before or after your work day. https://www.destressmonday.org/step-mindful-walking/
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: https://todoist.com
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. Can’t get outside? Open the windows and bring 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.
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.
Try Chunking--- this 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.
Create a calm down space. We do this for students in the classroom and we encourage our clients to create calming spaces for their kids 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 self care notebook for yourself.
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-- try comedy or fantasy? Are you feeling stuck in a rut at work-- let your brain learn something new and different from what it 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 the virtual instruments! When is the last time you tried finger painting or water coloring? Try online coloring and art activities.
Get Physical- do something fun like basketball with your family or try 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 https://caribu.com/
Don't forget that laughter is the best medicine! Share funny videos with your friends and family. 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. Don't believe me? Watch the 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.