It's been a challenging time to say the least. Clinics are closed with some slowly reopening. Maybe you're trying to get comfortable doing sessions via telehealth. Whatever your situation, chances are you’re feeling stressed. Many of us are faced with new financial worries and anxiety surrounding the state of, not only our careers, but the health and well-being of ourselves and those around us. So, how can we try to deal with some of this new stress? We think it’s the perfect time to prioritize self-care.
Self-care can help to combat stress and anxiety. Depending on your family situation, you may find that you have more time to yourself than ever before. So, it really is an ideal time to start or ramp up your self-care practice.
Why Self-care is Important
As a physiotherapist, you are in a profession that usually requires a lot of caring for others. That’s why it’s always important to remember to take care of yourself. You might put patients and others (family, friends) before yourself. Sometimes, the situation calls for that. Sometimes it’s necessary. But you need to take care of yourself too, especially during trying times such as those we’re facing now.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed or having trouble processing what’s going on in the world around you, taking some time away from responsibilities to care for yourself can really help.
Ideas for Self-care
Self-care looks different for everyone, so try a few things and see what works for you. The point is to give yourself a break from stress, work and responsibilities so that you can recharge. Here are some great options:
Exercise helps to clear your mind and has added physical benefits.
Meditation or breathing exercises are another wonderful form of self-care. They are particularly helpful for the stressful times many of us are currently experiencing and can be done anywhere.
Home Spa Treatment
Since we’re all staying home, run yourself a bath, put on a face mask and relax! This is a nice way to recharge.
Try a New Hobby
This can be anything you enjoy that’s doable from your home: reading, crafting, baking, drawing, or painting. Whatever it is that brings you joy, try to carve out some time for it.
How Self-care can Help Your Practice
Practicing self-care can really help manage the stresses of our current world, but we suggest keeping it up even when we’re through the other side of this. There are huge benefits to you personally, but it can also help your physiotherapy practice:
Physiotherapist burnout is extremely common (see Ep. 52-Understanding the Cause of Burnout) and prioritizing time to recharge is one of the key ways we can manage that. We believe that taking care of yourself actually makes you a better physiotherapist. Because recharging allows you to being more energy, focus and care to your work.
Set a Good Example
Self-care is actually one way to set a good example for your patients. If they see you taking good care of yourself, they’ll be inspired to do the same. They might be more likely to actually do the home care exercises you prescribe them.
Practicing self-care can help you feel more rested and prepared for the challenges of your work. You’re less likely to make mistakes and more likely to be productive if you feel you’ve had time to properly recharge.
Be sure to schedule in time for your self-care and make it a priority. It’s easy to let things that feel indulgent fall to the bottom of our to-do lists, but remember that investing this time in yourself really is a necessity for stress management and a happier you!