July 24th is International Self-Care Day, and that means a lot to us here at AHCS. We are highly aware of the important role that self-care plays in our ability to provide exceptional care to others. As one of the top travel nursing agencies in Canada, self-care is a huge focus when talking about our stake in the travel nursing sector of health. We believe that the flexible and rewarding nature of travel nursing can be a valuable piece in crafting your self-care plan – after all, self-care is for life. Especially with regard to healthcare workers, it requires an everyday approach and a strong commitment to prioritizing your well-being so that you have the capacity to ensure your patients’ well-being as well.
Today, we’re shining a spotlight on day-to-day practices and how to improve your health by putting self-care at the forefront of everything you do.
Self-care is not a one-size-fits-all. Start your wellness journey by recognizing that what works for someone else may not be the best fit for you. We are all built differently and that means there’s no one way to practice self-care. A good place to start is to write down some of the areas in your life that could be improved, as well as things that you find particularly helpful when it comes to combating stress. That might mean nature bathing, reading, creative practices (such as learning or playing a musical instrument, painting, writing/journaling, etc.), spending quality time with friends/family, gardening, meditation, or simply putting your device(s) on “do not disturb” and taking a day of rest. It can mean ordering in as opposed to cooking, watching your favourite movies and staying in pajamas all day – or it can mean days where you focus on healthy eating and going on high-intensity hikes with like-minded people.
Whatever your picture of self-care looks like, carve out the time to devote to the activities and principles that contribute to your personal health and wellness. If you are someone who struggles with prioritizing self-care, consider choosing one day a week and stick to your self-care plan that day, no matter what. One way to do this is to schedule it in your calendar the same way you would a work or personal commitment. Once you start to see the benefits of maintaining your self-care plan, you will feel motivated to put smaller self-care activities into daily rotation. This can have a profound impact on your mental and physical health, both in the short and long term. Another helpful tip in prioritizing self-care is to look at it like medicine or vitamins that you must take consistently. It is something that can’t be sacrificed, otherwise, your health will suffer.
Give thanks to your body and treat it with compassion, care, and forgiveness. Our bodies work so hard for us, and we can’t expect them to keep running on an empty tank. Learning to listen to your body and what it needs can be a powerful tool in practicing self-care. When you can properly assess your own needs, you can start meeting them every day, and that alone is a simple, yet life-changing exercise.
Let’s show up for ourselves and give self-care the attention it deserves so that we can all live healthier, more fulfilling lives. Happy International Self-Care Day, everyone!