Health for Healthcare Workers: Taking Care of Yourself to Take Care of Others

Staying active and healthy during these challenging times. Especially for those working in the healthcare field, their stamina and endurance are continually challenged. Though it can be an excellent career choice, it can drain them physically and emotionally. When it involves taking care of others and improving their quality of life, it takes more than skill to do well.

However, the nature of the industry doesn’t leave stamina, energy and time for basic health. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, healthcare workers face a variety of health hazards on the job, from illnesses to stress and burnout.

Whether you’re a full-time physician or a locum tenens healthcare worker, taking care of your health ensures that you can provide better service to your patients.

1. Incorporate physical activity as part of your daily routine

Getting out of your desk and exercising gives you several benefits, like:

  • Improved energy
  • Better mood
  • Weight management
  • Lowered risk of chronic illness like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer
  • Improved condition of bones, joints, and muscles

The World Health Organization recommends 150 minutes of moderate physical activity every week should be enough for adults 18 to 64 years old.

You don’t need to sign up for a gym membership if you don’t have the time. Use your break to go for a walk or sign up for classes during your free time. If possible, sneak in a quick home workout after waking up or before going to bed. You can also do exercises on your desk.

people at the boxing gym

2. Stay hydrated

Meeting the required amount of water intake per day keeps your body hydrated. It also reduces headaches and dizziness.

If work keeps you from drinking at least eight glasses of water a day, keep a jug or bottle of water near your workstation at all times. Set an hourly reminder on your phone or computer to alert you when it’s time to drink.

3. Take frequent breaks

Taking a break may mean losing time to achieve as many tasks as possible. However, neglecting yourself causes burnouts, leading to low productivity and increased stress levels.

Use your breaks to recover from the stress of work. Make the most of your break to take a healthy snack or meal, go for a walk, and blow off some steam. Take that much-needed vacation to go on an out-of-town trip or spend the day doing nothing at home. When you return to work, you’ll feel more refreshed and motivated to pick up where you left off.

4. Learn stress management techniques

If you don’t manage your stress levels, you can burn out, crack emotionally, or do things that can damage your career.

Look for ways on how you can destress from work. It can be a physical activity or a hobby. Alternatively, maybe you need a change of tasks. In that case, discuss with your supervisor if you can use your skills somewhere else. Share your concerns and problems with someone—a friend or a relative—who genuinely cares about your well-being.

A career in healthcare can be satisfying, but your schedule might not leave you time and energy to think about your health and well-being. Changing your current lifestyle and taking care of your health can help you be at your best to provide quality care to your patients.

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