Taking Care of Yourself: Don’t Forget about YOU!
This Mental Health Awareness Month, Laurie Nash, Ph.D., ABPP, director of Shepherd Center’s Psychology Department, gives some simple tips on facilitating your own self-care.
By Laurie Nash, Ph.D., ABPP
Director of Shepherd Center’s Psychology Department
Being a professional, taking care of patients with acute and long-term catastrophic injuries and illnesses, is both rewarding and challenging on a normal day. Since COVID-19, “normal” may seem like a distant memory.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and it's a great time to remember the importance of taking care of ourselves! Here are some simple ideas to consider for facilitating your own self-care:
- Breathe. Take a moment to catch your breath.
- Get enough sleep.
- Pray or meditate.
- Get some movement in every day. Practicing yoga can be a great exercise as well as a way to disconnect and meditate.
- Utilize social media to stay connected. Share a meal, play a game or watch a movie “together.”
- Take a long bath or shower.
- Pamper yourself at home by giving yourself a facial, manicure, pedicure or anything else that you consider a treat.
- Read, blog or journal.
- If you can, take time off work to unplug, refresh and renew. Even if you are working from home, unplugging with a day off can make a big difference.
- Start a recipe chain with others for new and creative ideas, and share favorite take-out spots.
- Get support and give support. Talk with colleagues. You are not alone!
- Meet with your supervisor if you’re feeling burnt out or overwhelmed.
- Many organizations have an Employee Assistance Program through human resources. This resource is available for all issues including stress, loss and finding a place to start, and are available via telehealth.
Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neuromuscular conditions. Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation. In its more than four decades, Shepherd Center has grown from a six-bed rehabilitation unit to a world-renowned, 152-bed hospital that treats more than 935 inpatients, 541 day program patients and more than 7,300 outpatients each year.