Self-care tips for healthcare workers
Self-care is important for everyone, but as a healthcare worker you might find it hard to make time for yourself.
Here, we share some self-care tips for healthcare workers which we hope will help you to focus on your own wellness and wellbeing.
Exercising is beneficial for both body and mind, and getting just 30 minutes of exercise per day can help to improve your mood and provides plenty of health perks. A simple walk in the great outdoors can reduce stress levels, boost endorphins, and improve your energy levels – plus you may find that it helps you to sleep better too!
You don’t need to complete your 30 minutes of exercise in one go, and getting active in smaller chunks of time throughout the day is just as effective. For example, walking to or from a shift. To make exercise more enjoyable, put on your headphones and listen to your favourite music or a podcast, organise to walk with a friend or colleague, or mix up what you do to add a bit of variety to your day.
Eat well and stay hydrated
Finding time for food and drink when busy at work can be tricky, but ensuring that you’re eating and staying hydrated is very important when it comes to self-care. By eating and drinking regularly, you’ll keep your energy levels up and will find it easier to focus than if you miss a meal or forget to have a drink.
Top tips for eating properly with a busy schedule include starting your day with a filling meal, snacking on nutritious fruit and nuts, and having a refillable water bottle to hand. Preparing a balanced meal in advance for when you get home is also useful as it can be easy to turn to snacks when you’re too exhausted to cook. Slow cookers are a great option for this!
Get a good sleep
A good sleep can work wonders for your wellbeing, but after a busy shift it can be difficult to switch off. Try to avoid caffeine, alcohol, nicotine or a big meal before you go to bed as these stimulants will make it hard for you to drift off, and putting your phone away 30 minutes before bedtime will help you to relax and wind down.
If you find that your thoughts run away with you when laying in bed, try reading for a while or listening to some quiet music which can help to settle you. You might also like to put on some ambient sounds, such as white noise or rainfall, which can block out other noises and make it easier to unwind.
Schedule self-care time
Taking time to yourself is important, and scheduling in some self-care can really help your health and wellbeing. This time can be spent doing something that you enjoy, such as reading, crafting, or having a relaxing bath. You might also like to try some calming wellness activities, such as meditation, breathing exercises, or muscle relaxation.
Self-care time could also include journaling and practicing gratitude, both of which can help you to sort your thoughts and increase positivity. Spending time focusing on things that you’re thankful for, expressing gratitude to family, friends, and colleagues, and writing down some of these positive thoughts can bring optimism, joy, and reduce any feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Take time to talk
Having a chat with someone can offer an instant mood boost as socialising has been found to be great for wellbeing and reduce feelings of depression. This could be sitting down for dinner with family away from other distractions, meeting a friend for a coffee, or spending time with a colleague on a shared break.
In addition to mental health benefits, socialising has been found to strengthen the immune system which will help your body to fight off colds and flu. Although chatting in person is thought to be most beneficial, speaking to people using technology, such as by video call, also works!
We hope that you’ve found these self-care tips for healthcare workers helpful and that you can find time to incorporate some of them into your busy work schedule.
You may also be interested in our blog posts about mental health resources for healthcare workers and ways to unwind after a healthcare shift.