Home health professionals are on the front lines, risking their lives to help patients. They must deal with long and exhausting hours often in stressful and distressing situations.
Despite this, they care for and safeguard people on a daily basis. They give so much of themselves for the good of others, often in what can feel like a thankless position.
It might be difficult to think about self-care when dealing with these types of tremendous responsibilities as a home care provider but fortunately there are several simple strategies you can implement quickly yet thoroughly so you always feel good inside even at times like now!
1. Make time for what you love.
Schedules are crazy. Car miles are racking up. Thoughts are racing. Stop. Prioritize your day. Make time for what is important and necessary. Carve out time for what you love. If it’s spending time with your family, plan a dinner out once per week where you have no electronics allowed.
2. Be thankful.
Gratitude changes your attitude. Every time you have a complaint or negative whiny thought, replace it with a thankful thought. Write it down if you must. Meditate on it.
3. Get moving.
The physical and mental benefits of exercise and movement don’t just apply to your patients. Don’t get so caught up caring for people that you don’t take care of yourself. Take the walk. Do the cycle class. Whatever it is that gets you moving and makes you a happier, healthier person.
4. Utilize Drive Time.
If you spend an ample amount of time in your car and you aren’t using it to complete a Live OASIS or contact the office, listen to something uplifting. Subscribe to an audio book service or make yourself a list of podcasts like Home Health Revealed to add joy and information to your day.
Invest in your learning and enjoyment.
5. Stay hydrated.
Drink the water. Take the time to sip and savor. It’s easy to forgo since you are running here and there and completing documentation and driving in the car. Just do it. If it helps to add flavoring or pieces of fresh fruits or vegetables to infuse your water, plan ahead for that. Take some time on your day off to cut up and freeze pieces of fresh fruits and veggies. You can even add them to an ice cube tray with water to make cubes. Toss them in your water bottle on your way out the door.
6. Get the rest you need.
You’re always worried about how others are feeling, if they’re comfortable and if they’re getting the rest they need to heal. But are YOU? Are you allowing yourself adequate time daily to rest and heal from the day? If not, change up your routine to help you rest and relax.
Reflect on your day and your goals. Think through what is working well and what is challenging for you. Be honest with yourself. Journal your thoughts or doodle your thoughts on a blank page. Don’t be afraid to look yourself in the eye to really be introspective.