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July - Self-Care Month

This month we remind you of the importance of Self-Care.  Let’s all Take Care to Give Care!

 

 

 

This month we focus on the importance of self-care to prevent fatigue and burnout.  We need to take care of ourselves so we can feel good and continue to take care of those we love and support, both at work and at home. 

Without giving ourselves sufficient time and attention to stay healthy physically, socially and psychologically, we risk putting ourselves in danger.  Because of the environments we work in, we can become fatigued and even experience burnout.  

It's also International Self-Care Day this month, on July 24! Learn more about this celebrated day!

 

What can happen if we don't take care of ourselves? 

 

Fatigue: (from CCOHS) Fatigue is the state of feeling very tired, weary or sleepy resulting from insufficient sleep, prolonged mental or physical work, or extended periods of stress or anxiety. Boring or repetitive tasks can intensify feelings of fatigue. 

Compassion Fatigue: (from Wikipedia) Compassion Fatigue is the emotional and physical distress caused by treating and helping patients that are deeply in need, which can desensitize healthcare professionals causing them a lack of empathy for future patients.

Job Burnout: (Mayo Clinic) Job burnout is a special type of work-related stress — a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.

 

But these conditions do not have to happen! There are many ways we can help to keep ourselves well and continue to enjoy our jobs and our lives!

 

Self-care is not selfish, it is sensible! 

 

What can I do?

Make a Plan! Check out this video from How to Adult, A Self-Care Action Plan:

And this one, Ways to Wellness from Alberta Health Services

My Anxious World also has tips to  help you create a Self-Care Plan.

Homewood Health provides a Self-Care Starter Kit to start you planning your self-care strategies.

 

There are a variety of physical, social and psychological ways you can care for yourself to stay happy and healthy.

Physical       

Physical self-care refers to ways in which you care for your body, including exercising, eating healthy meals, getting enough sleep, etc.  

Some tips from ReachOut.com - here are some basic activities that help you to stay fit and healthy, and with enough energy to get through your work and personal commitments.

- Develop a regular sleep routine.
- Aim for a healthy diet.
- Take lunch breaks.
- Go for a walk at lunchtime.
- Take your dog for a walk after work.
- Get some exercise before/after work regularly.

Self-Care Exercises and Activities - University of Buffalo School of Social Work

Self-Care ideas for Physical Health - My Anxious World

Social           

Connecting with other people can also help us connect with ourselves.  It helps us to feel like we are not alone which can help combat loneliness and isolation.

Here are some strategies for social self-care from the LawofAttraction.com

- Make a date to have lunch or dinner with a great friend.
- Write an email to someone who lives far away, but who you miss.
- Reach out to someone you like but haven’t seen in a while.
- Consider joining a group of people who share your interests.
- Stop socializing with those who undermine or disempower you.
- Strike up a conversation with someone interesting.
- Join a support group for people who struggle with the same things you do.
- Sign up for a class to learn something and meet new people at the same time.

  Self-Care for Emotional Health - My Anxious World

Psychological

 

 

CMHA says "We all deserve to feel well and to thrive. In order to get there, the first thing to keep in mind is that we ALL have mental health to protect, promote and celebrate. Just like with our physical health." 

From the Homewood Health Self-Care Starter Kit here are some simple suggestions to take care of your psychological welfare:

- Take time for yourself
- Disconnect from electronic devices
- Journal
- Pursue new interests
- Learn new skills
- Access psychotherapy, life coaching, or counselling support through your EAP if needed and available. 

Mental Fitness Tips from Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)

Your Mental Health: 16 Strategies to Help You Thrive - CMHA

 

What can employers do?

Unhealthy employees are not good for business.  Employers can implement a lot of different strategies to enourage workers to practice self-care and provide them with a safe and healthy work environment.  

Check out these resources:

"The complete guide to understanding employee burnout and promoting well-being" - MedEd

20 Simple Ways to Promote Employee Wellbeing - Coburg Banks

Employee Self-Care: 10 Ways Organizations Can Be Supportive - Workforce Institute

 

What else?

Learn about the 7 Pillars of Self-Care from the International Self-Care Foundation.

 

 

 

 

45 Simple Self-Care Practices for a Healthy Mind, Body, and Soul - Tiny Buddha

Resources for compassion fatigue and burnout (incl. definitions, symptoms, tips, etc) - American Institute of Stress

Are you a caregiver at home? Respite care is very important for self-care. Read more from the Alzheimer's Society Alberta & NWT.

This is interesting! Have you heard of forest bathing? It is defined by the Association of Nature & Forest Therapy as "the practice of spending time in forested areas for the purpose of enhancing health, wellness, and happiness."

Watch the Introduction to Forest Therapy and Shinrin Yoku video to learn more.

 

Still not convinced how important self-care is? Hear it from Oprah herself!

Watch the video: Oprah Winfrey: Take Care of Yourself from Stanford Graduate School of Business