GUEST BLOGGER: Emily A. Zeman, OTD, MS, OTR/L
Now more than ever is the time for us to invest in strategies to combat professional burnout and stress and take care of ourselves. Healthy living and self-care are popular with not only millennials but also older generations of working health professionals.
The question is: What are you doing for self-care and what else can you do to remain client-centered and compassionate at the same time? It’s time to invest in yourself so you can keep doing what you are good at- taking care of others!
Personal: Self-awareness & Presence
- Spend time with family & friends
- Jump on the mindfulness train: Take up yoga, meditation, or prayer (Go with a buddy!) Check out tips on getting started here: Getting started with mindfulness
- Add more recreation & time-off to your calendar
- Exercise, especially out in nature! Here’s why!
- Participate in support groups & engage in health self-talk
Work: Professional Resilience & Enrichment
- Maintain professional identity- attend conferences!
- Ask questions – be curious!
- Use humor
- Seek case consultation & dialogue with peers
- Eat lunch with colleagues or walk outside for breaks during the day (That nature thing again…)
- Diversify work load & responsibilities
- Set good boundaries with everyone It’s important!
Questions to ask yourself:
- How do I restore my energy when away from work?
- What do I already do in terms of self-care?
There are many ways to incorporate a few strategies to avoid burnout and practice self-care- even one will get you started on the right track! Try one a week and see which one fits you best. You and your patients will both benefit.
- Lawson, G. & Myers, J.E. (2011). Wellness, professional quality of life, and career-sustaining behaviors: What keeps us well? Journal of Counseling & Development, 89(2), 163-171.
- Wicks, R.J. (2008).The Resilient Clinician. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.