Self-care Practices For the Medical Profession
At Infectious we know and understand the lives of healthcare workers. We know that a hectic pace and demanding schedule can often mean self-care goes out the window!
With this in mind, we wanted to share five practical strategies you can include in your self-care routine. Sometimes self-care is a bubble bath or decadent ice cream, but for the most part, it includes practical day-to-day activities that boost your mood and help you to thrive in the long term.
It's one thing to say regular exercise is great for the mind and body, but it's an entirely different thing to find the time to fit it in. If you're short on time, you could try an at-home workout, 30-min daily walk or living room yoga! Don't know where to start? Youtube is filled with great at-home workouts and yoga classes to follow along with.
2. Have a Balanced Diet
We understand the life of a medical professional is fast-paced, and that a McDonald's drive-thru has never looked better after an overnight shift! However, what we eat can have the greatest effect on our energy levels. After all, food is fuel for our bodies!
Try planning a weekly grocery trip to buy fresh food and healthy snacks that you can prep for the week ahead. If your schedule is too unpredictable, setting aside time once a month to cook meals in bulk and freeze for later is another great way to ensure you're eating well.
3. Make Time for Holidays
Taking some time off to reset and recharge is a great way to bring about a work-life balance. It doesn't necessarily need to look like a European holiday every three months (although sipping cocktails poolside sounds quite appealing!), think more about mid-week or weekend getaways.
A great way to ensure you are making the time for a vacation is by booking the next one in the last few days of your current one. By doing this, you are giving yourself something to look forward to whilst locking away another holiday.
Day trips might also be more achievable, such as a trip to your favourite waterfall or beach. You might like to change things up and hit up a theme-park! Taking time out to do something a little different might be just what you need after a long week.
4. Participate in Recreational Activities & Hobbies
An excellent form of self-care is giving yourself time and space to enjoy things you love doing. We suggest participating in recreational activities or hobbies. This can help you unwind from work stresses and focus on something that makes you feel good, mentally or physically.
Activities or hobbies could include hiking, rowing, joining a swimming club, doing woodwork or even gardening. If indoors activities are more your thing, you might like to try a cooking class, learn to sew or take up painting. It's important to find time for the things you enjoy.
5. Form Good Sleeping Habits
We get it. Working nights can throw a spanner in the works when it comes to forming good sleeping habits! But a lack of sleep or poor sleeping habits is not good for anyone in the long run.
When you exercise regularly, eat a healthy diet make time for personal activities and holidays, you will notice that your sleep is more restful. This is often because when your stress levels are lowered, your sleep cycle will have fewer external disruptions.
Keeping good sleep hygiene involves setting a regular bedtime, sticking to a routine and mentally preparing yourself to wind down of an evening (or morning, if you're on the back of a shift!). You might have a cup of tea before bed, read a book or listen to calming music.
Bringing more balance to your daily routine, taking time for yourself and giving your body the food, rest and activity it needs will, in turn, help you in your professional life - allowing you to be focused and ready for another busy day at work.
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