5 Self-Care Tips for Caregivers
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5 Self-Care Tips for Caregivers

Practicing self-care has been proven to reduce stress, increase happiness, and improve mental health. For those who dedicate their lives to caring for others, caring for yourself is essential.

Much like the instruction to put on your oxygen mask first before assisting another passenger on a plane, taking care of yourself first will not only save your own life, but also the lives of those you care for. Here are five helpful ways healthcare providers can practice self-care.

1. Look out for number one.

Schedule time for yourself each week to rest or do something you love. Pencil it into your calendar if you have to. Block off this time and make it as important as a shift at work.

2. Find a hobby.

A hobby outside of work will boost your capacity to provide care. “One PSW I represent has taken up kayaking,” says Trish Douma, CLAC regional director. “Almost every day after work, she goes kayaking for an hour on the Thames River in downtown Chatham.”

3. Broaden your support network.

Develop a broad support network of people who have different jobs and deal with life in a different manner. This will expand your view of the world and help you see your work in a larger context.

4. Get outside.

Studies show that being in nature—even just 10 minutes per day—makes us happier, helps with anxiety and depression, and fuels creativity.

5. Unplug.

Social media can be toxic, and constantly being on call can be exhausting. Make sure you take a moment to turn off all your devices, leave your work at work, and unwind from the day.

This article originally appeared as a sidebar in the Guide article “Healthcare Heartbreak.”

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