Self-Health Tips for Staying Robust in Uncertain Times

Too often practitioners in the healthcare industry spend so much effort caring for their patients they leave themselves depleted of energy to service their own mental and physical health. Self-Health is one of the most powerful tools you can implement to ensure you are strong for the teams you manage and the patients you care for.

As we slowly emerge from isolation, feelings and sensations can arise in unpredictable moments. From telehealth sessions to working from home, all of a sudden there will be a barrage on your senses. The following steps are ones you can use to take care of yourselves, your teams and can be openly shared with your patients or clients.

Self-awareness

Take care to notice where you are at. What thoughts are you having? What stories are you telling yourself? How are the sensations in your body? Self-awareness is not limited to thoughts. Body sensations can reveal a lot about your state of mind. Once you know where you are at, take steps to manage your self-health. Be mindful that moods are contagious, influencing the way you deliver your messages and care for your clients and staff. If you are feeling less robust than usual, utilise the next steps to help put you in the best possible state before caring for others.

Focus on the positive

It is really important to acknowledge that many positive outcomes and innovations have and will continue to take place in these times.  The rebirth of local communities. The reaching out to neighbours and work colleagues.  Awareness of the good in these situations will help raise spirits.

Focussing on the positive is a behaviour.  Do not see this sentiment as something trite, but rather a habit you can create. 

Remember there are many good people on this planet. I have seen emails from churches, synagogues, mosques and charities inviting people to take food to the elderly and the responses have been swift and contagious.

Limit negative mind feeds

It is really important to limit the amount of negative news you take in.  This does not mean that you should bury your head in the sand.  Allow yourself to stay up to date with what you have to know to stay safe, but there is no need to be overindulging in news throughout the day.

As Dr Rick Hanson says “We are Velcro for negative information and Teflon for good”.  Our brains are built to store negative over positive information, so making sure you limit negativity as much as possible is crucial.

Do not watch negative television shows.  There are so many uplifting series to watch.  The Crown, revisit West Wing, where all the characters are decent. Cheers, a documentary on Netflix about Cheerleading and even Friends.  Now is not the time to go to bed watching a series about serial killers and psychopaths.

Remember – What we let into our psyche is sticky. Feed your mind and body with a positively curated playlist.

Clear Communication

Be clear when communicating with your work colleagues, family and friends.

Insecurity is bread when people have to fill in the gaps where communication is weak.

Human nature is prone to filling in the gaps with stories.  Deal with facts not fiction.

This is very important for practice owners when communicating with their teams. Even as we come out of isolation, the operating rules are constantly changing regularly creating confusion. Regular updates and communication allows your employees and patients to feel connected to your work community.

Meditation

This is a great time to take up meditation. A proven tool for reducing stress, blood pressure and increasing immunity.  Many people believe that meditation is aligned to certain spiritual practices.  It can definitely be an agnostic practice. There are many apps available to assist with taking up meditation.  Some are – Sam Harris, Wake up. Deepak and Oprah’s 21 day meditation packs, Smiling Minds and Headspace.

Staying fit

If you are physically able, go for walks, runs. It is very important to stay fit.

Listen to music

Try it now. Stop reading this article. Lift your phone and play one of your favourite songs. A simple action that can bring a smile to your face and lift your energy.

Phone a friend, mentor or coach.

Make sure you have people in your life where you can communicate authentically and vulnerably.  Often by saying the words out loud in a safe environment is enough to release the stress. Remember, you are not alone.

On behalf of all Australians, thank you for being who you are and taking care of our community.

Oh, that reminds me, Practice Gratitude. It is a scientifically proven tool to create positive emotions.

Written by Leora Givoni

Leora Givoni is the Founder of Small Act Major Impact, a consultancy specialising in coaching leaders on how to become clear and impactful communicators. She is also an Executive coach and qualified meditation teacher through the Chopra Centre in Los Angeles. She works with a broad range of leaders, health practitioners and business owners across Australia. Discover more at www.smallactmajorimpact.com.au

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