This month we remind you of the importance of Self-Care. Let’s all Take Care to Give Care!
This month we focus on the importance of self-care to prevent fatigue and burnout. We need to take care of ourselves so we can feel good and continue to take care of those we love and support, both at work and at home.
Without giving ourselves sufficient time and attention to stay healthy physically, socially and psychologically, we risk putting ourselves in danger. Because of the environments we work in, we can become fatigued and even experience burnout.
It’s also International Self-Care Day this month, on July 24! Learn more about this celebrated day!
What can happen if we don't take care of ourselves?
Fatigue: Fatigue is the state of feeling very tired, weary or sleepy resulting from insufficient sleep, prolonged mental or physical work, or extended periods of stress or anxiety. Boring or repetitive tasks can intensify feelings of fatigue.
Compassion Fatigue: Compassion Fatigue is the emotional and physical distress caused by treating and helping patients that are deeply in need, which can desensitize healthcare professionals causing them a lack of empathy for future patients.
Job Burnout: Job burnout is a special type of work-related stress — a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.
But these conditions do not have to happen! There are many ways we can help to keep ourselves well and continue to enjoy our jobs and our lives!
What can I do?
There are a variety of physical, social and psychological ways you can care for yourself to stay happy and healthy.
Physical self-care refers to ways in which you care for your body, including exercising, eating healthy meals, getting enough sleep, etc.
Some tips from ReachOut.com here are some basic activities that help you to stay fit and healthy, and with enough energy to get through your work and personal commitments.
– Develop a regular sleep routine.
– Aim for a healthy diet.
– Take lunch breaks.
– Go for a walk at lunchtime.
– Take your dog for a walk after work.
– Get some exercise before/after work regularly
Connecting with other people can also help us connect with ourselves. It helps us to feel like we are not alone which can help combat loneliness and isolation.
Here are some strategies for social self-care from the LawofAttraction.com
– Make a date to have lunch or dinner with a great friend.
– Write an email to someone who lives far away, but who you miss.
– Reach out to someone you like but haven’t seen in a while.
– Consider joining a group of people who share your interests.
– Stop socializing with those who undermine or disempower you.
– Strike up a conversation with someone interesting.
– Join a support group for people who struggle with the same things you do.
– Sign up for a class to learn something and meet new people at the same time.
CMHA says “We all deserve to feel well and to thrive. In order to get there, the first thing to keep in mind is that we ALL have mental health to protect, promote and celebrate. Just like with our physical health.”
From the Homewood Health Self-Care Starter Kit here are some simple suggestions to take care of your psychological welfare:
– Take time for yourself
– Disconnect from electronic devices
– Pursue new interests
– Learn new skills
– Access psychotherapy, life coaching, or counselling support through your EAP if needed and available.
- Check out Tiny Buddha and sign up for daily or weekly tips and insights that will bring you happiness, love, mindfulness and much more. Tiny Buddha Blog; 45 simple self-care practices has tiny self-care activities you can fit into your daily routine!
- University of Buffalo community resources has activities and exercises for self-care including developing your own support system.
What can employers do?
Unhealthy employees are not good for business, employers can implement a lot of different strategies to encourage workers to practice self-care and provide them with a safe and healthy work environment.
If employers want healthy, environmentally safe, energetic and clean workplaces they need to encourage, model and practice self-care. If employers want the same for their employees (why wouldn’t they), they need to be supportive of employees taking time to care for themselves as well!
Check out these articles/resources:
- “Why Self-Care Matters for Both Employers and Employees” from Heartmanity’s Blog, looks at how self-care is a lifestyle, not just a spa day!
- CCOHS OHS Answers Fact Sheets about fatigue looks at workplace and how to address.
- Workplace Strategies for Mental Health has free resources on topics such as mental health awareness and healthy break activities.