Ashley Carty is a seasoned medical professional with over 8 years of experience working at the top hospitals in Southern California, including Hoag, Saddleback Memorial, and UCSD.
Stress and anxiety during this unprecedented time is not only normal but also expected. While you’re juggling a million things in the middle of the war zone, how can you take the time to practice self-care to help with these feelings? We’ve compiled 9 self-care tips during COVID-19 straight from doctors and nurses themselves.
Being kind to your mind and body while having realistic expectations with oneself is paramount. Although you’re currently playing the role of a superhero, you have to remember that you are still human, and it’s okay to be stressed and anxious. To help combat these feelings and power through, self-care has shown to be one of the best ways to cope. Be kind to yourself by making time for yourself.
Social media can be an excellent resource for connecting with others, venting, and finding support. However, it can also be a trigger to stress and anxiety for some. Consider unplugging from social media and diving into something else when you have a few free moments. Journaling even on a notepad or a phone app has shown to help release emotions. Try the following topics:
Going for a walk or sitting in the sun while getting a little fresh air can help you reset. If you can’t seem to find time during your shift, consider showing up a little early to work to sit at your favorite spot outside or staying a little late before sunset (depending on the time of year and your location). Still unable to squeeze it in? Red Light therapy and aromatherapy machines may prove to be a soothing alternative for when you’re “home.”
Maintain connections with your loved ones. Consider a regular check-in schedule and video chats to give you something to look forward to. If you don’t have Facetime, alternative apps such as Zoom, Google Duo, Whereby and Skype can be used. When you connect, don’t be scared to vent to them; they are here for you. If you don’t have someone that you can connect with consider joining a Facebook Group or a support group.
Meditation before leaving for work, after you’re home and even on your off days might help you with your stress, anxiety, and help you regulate your breathing when you’re under stress. Meditation isn’t for everyone, and not all mediations are the same. Some are guided, taking you on a journey, almost like closing your eyes and watching a movie, others have you focus on your breathing and internal feelings. Try a few to learn which type is best for you. Three of the most popular apps out right now are Peloton, Calm, and Headspace.
Eating a healthy diet can help with mood balance, fighting infection, and overall feeling of well-being. Here are a few suggestions when it comes to eating healthy:
Finding the time (and energy) to exercise may seem like a joke right now, but as many of us know, once you find the time and make it happen, it can make a world of difference. Even if you only have five minutes to do a stretch, anything can help. There are plenty of fantastic apps that you can download and use while at home, work, or on the go.
On the job? We’ve compiled a few self-care secrets for medical professionals while on the job. We know a lot of these will be tough when working on the front lines.
Are you looking for ways to treat yourself? A little retail therapy or comfort food can always feel great. Let these businesses treat you. The following companies are offering free or discounted items for front of the line healthcare workers.
Not a big comfort food eater or shopper? Consider treating yourself to “you time.” A long bath with candles, taking the time to read a book, re-watch your all-time favorite movie, doing a face mask, or treating yourself to a massage (from a loved one or with a Theragun).
What did you think of our “9 Self-Care Tips During COVID-19”? Did we miss any, have any tips that have helped you during this unprecedented time? Let us know in the comments below.
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