Our blog is fortunate to have a few students and practitioners reading the articles so I wanted to write something a little different today; specifically the topic of practitioner self care.
Many people go into their respective fields of healthcare because they have the superman complex (the desire to save everyone) and this can be an admirable trait but only when coupled with the proper self care that is needed to prevent burn out.
There is almost a stigma in the general populace that a medical practitioner or doctor should never get sick or take time off but the reality of it is that practitioners are human too and the ones that give 110% to every patient they see are actually the ones who need to keep burn out in mind.
If you want to give your patients the best then you have to ensure that you are at your best and this is done through self care. Seems like common sense but what is self care?
- Getting enough sleep/rest.
- Ensuring you are fueling with the right foods.
- Having engaging hobbies in your down time.
- Taking breaks throughout the day and holidays.
- Some form of exercise routine.
- Seeking the assistance of another practitioner.
I’m sure the above seems like common sense but a large number of practitioners forgot to do this. Allow yourself to imagine the following scenario:
You wake up late and skip breakfast to get to the clinic where you see 8-20 patients for the day, having 15mins to grab some junk for lunch followed by administrative duties, leaving the clinic well into the evening where you stop at a fast food outlet for something quick and easy then home to zone out to just one too many episodes of a show on a streaming service which sees you in bed way past midnight and waking up late once more to repeat the cycle five to six days a week. Throw in a shower or two and continue ad nauseam.
Even without any medical training you can tell the above is not sustainable.
As we believe in Chinese Medicine – you must take care of yourself before you can take care of others. So to the soon-to-be practitioners all the way to the seasoned veterans, learn to set limits to your time and practice self care and most importantly, accept and understand that is is perfectly normal for a practitioner to not be feeling 100%.