I Care for Others While I Care for Myself

Tuning into Your Own Needs

I feel emotionally exhausted lately. With this recent COVID surge, my frustration and exhaustion are mixed with anger. Work that was enjoyable often seems a chore. I try to be patient, not just with others but with myself. I try very hard to ask open honest questions, try to listen to understand rather than judge or come to conclusions. I make myself go on walks. I find myself not wanting to engage in many conversations. I have to remind myself to relax and breathe. Reframing, self-kindness, and self-compassion are very hard. It is an effort to be creative.

At the core of our vocation is the altruistic desire to serve. We continue to give to others, but giving to ourselves becomes less of a priority. I have to remind myself of this. The reason I feel exhausted, the reason everything feels like a chore, the reason I feel tense, is because I have not taken the time to be self-aware of what my body needs, what my mind needs, or what my spirit needs. I have not taken care of me.

And one way that I do that is to remind myself of my mantra, “I care for myself while caring for others.” This is also a core message of the Oath to Self-Care and Well-Being.

Tenet #3:We WILL BE ATTUNED to the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs of our self and others and share our practices of well-being for the benefits of our patients, our colleagues, and the advancement of healthcare.

#REFLECT:  How do you tune into your own needs? What is one well-being practice you might share with a colleague today?

As 2021 continues to unfold, how do you tend to self-care, community and resilience? I will continue posting reflections on these themes and invite you to join in the conversation here or on Twitter or Instagram with your thoughts or what you are doing for self-care and care of others. My book explores such ideas too: Resilient Threads: Weaving Joy and Meaning into Well-Being.