As an employer of more than 6,000 nurses across the nation, we have firsthand knowledge of the heroic efforts frontline heroes undertake on a daily basis – and that’s under normal conditions. With the global outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, it seems more appropriate than ever to celebrate the World Health Organization’s Year of the Nurse and the upcoming National Nurses Week.
When you’re responsible for taking care of the health of others, it’s easy to let that noble calling become an all-consuming force in your life — even to the detriment of your own health. But for your patients’ sake, you can’t forget to take care of yourself too! After all, you can’t give them your best if you’re run down and stressed out.
Many healthcare professionals have access to employer-provided benefits, like HSA accounts and home school resources for assistance with child care, and counseling, so check with your human resources manager to see what is available to you. But don’t stop with what your employer provides; be proactive about taking control of your health and stress levels.
Top Self-Care Tips for Medical Professionals
- Taking five minutes at the beginning of the day to make a to-do list can help you stay organized and feel more in control.
- Research stress management techniques, and put them into practice before you’re feeling the pressure. Be proactive! For example, the popular wellness app Headspace is offering a free subscription to all healthcare professionals.
- Exercise, exercise, exercise. Not only will you get the endorphin rush, you’ll improve your overall health. Plus, exercise is a proven stress-reliever.
- Don’t let isolation become an issue. Even when you’re busy, schedule time to relax with friends and family.
- Connect with healthcare peers or a local caregivers support group to voice your concerns, challenges, victories and frustrations. It can be reassuring to know you’re not going through this stress alone.
For more information, check out the CDC’s self-care recommendations.
To our nurses and nurses everywhere, we want to say a heartfelt thank-you for everything you and your colleagues do. It’s largely due to your efforts that your patients and our residents are able to receive the care they need.