Here’s a question: Is self care second nature to you?
For many caregivers who are focused on everyone but themselves, self care drops off the radar. For some, self care is a lofty idea that seems unattainable. For others it’s a daily dose of simple things like a brisk walk at lunch time, or mindful eating during the day.
If we do not make self care second nature, we risk burn out that becomes a sick day.
So let’s practice some prevention and make self care a simple daily recipe that can become second nature. The following is a list of action items we do everyday. Self care is really about being mindful of them. Give it a try this week.
You will need:
Sleep, food, water, fresh air, exercise, personal hygiene and social interaction.
- Are you getting enough sleep? Many people are hitting the pillow with their cell phones or tablets. Or waking up to them. Try trading your device in for a good book before bed and you will notice the difference very quickly. Never underestimate a good night’s sleep.
- When and how are you feeding yourself? Do you eat breakfast or do you intermittent fast? Do you make time for food in the day? If you are on the run between clients, be sure to pack some veggies sticks, or apple slices and other healthy snacks for your car instead of hitting the drive through.
- Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate. All you have to do is google the benefits of drinking enough water and you’ll find a non exhaustive list of reasons to keep that refillable water bottle handy.
- Take 5 mins at the very least to get outside and take in some fresh air.
- Take a brisk walk at lunch, or park your car if you can a block away from visiting a client. This is an easy way to achieve some outdoor activity. Fresh air and a little cardio does the body good.
- Do you have a morning and evening personal care routine? Be mindful of it. Teeth brushing & flossing, face washing, hair brushing – these are simple activities that some of your clients cannot do for themselves. Be mindful of this type of self care and don’t take it for granted.
- People need people. We are social beings and even if we are introverts, we still need human connection. Outside of work, maybe take an extra minute to go through the cashier aisle instead of self check out and have a conversation. Or, join a group that is of interest to you. Focus on some human connection even if it’s via online channels. When we cultivate relationships we feel better about ourselves.
Have a great week and take good care!