Taking Care Of Yourself Is The First Step In Taking Care Of Others
Pegasus skilled in-home caregivers in Panorama City and elsewhere provide comprehensive services to their clients. They know that taking care of themselves is the first step in taking care of others. Career home health care nurses practice self-care techniques that promote their well-being.
Many nurses put the well-being of their patients ahead of caring for themselves. Not surprisingly, nearly 80% of nurses report that they are at high risk for job-related stress. Making time for self-care improves their health and ability to care for others.
Self-care isn’t self-indulgence or selfishness. According to the American Nurses Association’s Code of Ethics, nurses are responsible for caring for themselves. Their service “extends to oneself as well: the same duties that we owe to others we owe to ourselves.”
The Duties And Benefits Of Self-Care
Self-care duties include:
- Continuing your personal and professional growth
- Maintaining your competence
- Preserving your wholeness of character and integrity
- Promoting health and safety
Self-care serves to relieve stress. It also helps you maintain your compassion.
Additional benefits of self-care include:
- Improved happiness
- Improved overall health
- Increased ability to provide high-quality care to others
- Increased energy
- Reduced risk of depression and burnout
- Strengthened personal and professional relationships
When you don’t tend to your well-being, you deplete your inner resources. That harms your health and leaves you with nothing to give to others.
What Is Self-Care?
Caring for yourself is nurturing yourself. It’s taking action to nourish all aspects of your health. It’s more than relaxing, although there’s a time and place for that.
Self-care differs from person to person. It can also change from day to day for you. It’s finding an ongoing balance of attending to all your health needs.
Luxury certainly has its place on occasion, but self-care doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s being aware of what brings you enjoyment and then doing it. If you can increase your mindfulness, you can find pleasure in the most mundane chores.
One expert divides self-care into temporary and permanent benefits. Temporary care describes the pleasure you get from brief activities, like talking with a friend. Self-care activities that you practice regularly, such as meditation, generate permanent benefits.
Creating A Self-Care Plan That Encompasses All Your Health Needs
Part of your home health care work is developing care plans for your patients. Each plan is customized to meet the specific needs of the individual. Apply your knowledge to creating your personalized self-care plan.
As with any plan, start with a needs assessment. Areas of your health to consider include:
- Emotional – As an in-home nurse, you likely become close to your patients. You may be part of a loving family. Or not. In any case, it’s crucial that you find an outlet for your emotions. Seek professional counseling if necessary.
- Medical – Make and keep appointments for physical, oral, and vision care. Manage your weight. If you smoke, stop.
- Mental – Expand your mind. Your professional knowledge probably increases daily. But are you gaining new information about other subjects?
- Personal – Learn to say no. Incorporate some non-nurse activities that give you a break from healthcare.
- Physical – You know the drill: practice good nutrition, exercise, and get adequate sleep.
- Professional – Establish your career goals. Don’t overlook Pegasus’s policy of supporting professional training and encouraging nurses who want to advance their careers.
- Social – Make an effort to reach out and connect with others. Include fun activities with family and friends in your schedule.
- Spiritual – If you have religious beliefs, honor them. If not, find other ways, such as a gratitude journal, that give you an appreciation of life.
Some experts add finances to self-care plans. Analyze your spending habits and modify those that don’t meet your long-term financial goals. You can also increase your peace of mind if you have appropriate documents, like wills and advance directives, in place.
These are only suggestions. When you take a close look at your health, you know where you need more than a band-aid. Your plan should be based on what works to balance and maintain all facets of your health.
Start Small With Self-Care
Obviously, self-care can take time and effort. Don’t let yourself get overwhelmed by everything in your plan, and quit before you start. Today, right now, choose one step, however small, drink a glass of water, and begin.
That said, you do have to make self-care a priority. Setting aside large blocks of time is out of the question for most individuals. Instead, rely on mini-breaks.
You can incorporate mini-breaks within other activities if necessary. For example, savor a cup of coffee or tea while writing your reports. Stop for a moment between tasks and take a few deep breaths.
Pegasus is a licensed Home Care Organization and a Joint Commission Accredited Home Health Care organization. Our professional in-home caregivers in Panorama City and our other locations strive to improve the quality of life for others. Career home health care nurses help maintain our high standards when they practice self-care.