Guest blogpost by Stephanie Haywood
When you work in the healthcare system, it can be challenging to find the time for self-care. But taking care of yourself—inside and out—will add immeasurable value to your professional and personal life. A regular self-care practice can give you a greater sense of control over your life, help you avoid burnout on the job, and contribute to greater overall happiness. Fortunately, you have access to several resources which can help you find room for self-care in your busy life. From International Week of Happiness at Work, here are some great tips to help you feel and look your best!
Improve Self-Confidence in Your Appearance
Your physical appearance plays an important role in your self-esteem. If you lack confidence, updating your style might give you a boost. Find clothes that make you feel comfortable and confident, whatever that means to you! Try to develop a personal style that aligns with your personality and values. Wear colors that you like and clothes that accentuate the features you like best about yourself. Having your clothing professionally tailored can also go a long way toward helping you feel comfortable and confident in your appearance.
Adding accessories to your outfits is a great way to make them pop. For example, wearing a piece of statement jewelry can add a bold look to your style and really showcase your personality.
Exercise as Often as Possible
Regular exercise can have an incredible effect on how you feel and look. Besides improving your appearance, exercise has been shown to improve your mood, relieve stress, increase your energy levels, and support your mental health. Fortunately, if you work in a healthcare setting, you likely spend a lot of time on your feet as it is. Try to round out your daily activity with a strength and flexibility routine to support your long-term mobility, avoid injury, and relieve stiffness
Pack Nutritious Meals for Work
When you work long hours, it can be tempting to grab convenient snacks and fast food to keep yourself fueled. However, you’ll feel much better on your shifts if you bring healthy meals along to work. Everything you put in your body can have an impact on your energy levels, cognitive functioning, and overall mood. Try to fuel your body with nutrient-dense foods and avoid snacks that are highly processed or contain high amounts of sugar.
Make a Plan to Avoid Burnout
Due to the stressful nature of work in the healthcare industry, burnout is a common issue for nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals. Make a proactive plan to manage stress so you can avoid the long-term effects of burnout. One of the best ways to avoid burnout is to set boundaries and take regular breaks. Get comfortable with saying “no” when you already have a lot of work on your plate. Trello also recommends building strong routines into your schedule so you can maintain your commitment to self-care even when life gets especially hectic.
Maintain a Healthy Home
Having a positive home environment can serve as a sanctuary from the effects of burnout. Your home can help reduce your stress levels if it is decluttered and features plenty of light and plants. This environment can also be a great place to practice meditation, which can also reduce your stress levels.
Learn Sleep Tips for Shift Work
People who work in the healthcare industry often hold irregular shifts, sometimes working early in the morning or late at night. How are you ever supposed to get a good sleep on such an irregular schedule? Over time, many shift workers develop shift work disorder, a combination of insomnia and excessive fatigue that can be completely debilitating. If you work during the night but have trouble sleeping during the day, try sleeping in complete darkness and using white noise to block out disruptive sounds.
Healthcare workers might not have much time to dedicate to their personal lives, but finding space for self-care is essential. Practicing self-care will support your long-term mental and physical well-being so you can be your most effective at work and home. Whatever you’re struggling with, be it self-image or sleeplessness, take control of your health so you can feel your best!