Self-Care First!

Persons who are responsible for caring about others often find themselves at risk for stress and burnout.  Many of us have family patterns, religious beliefs, training and experiences which encourage us to focus on helping others.   This is wonderful, but we first must focus on ourselves.

Nurses, administrators and other caring persons hide stress from colleagues and supervisors.   But meanwhile our hearts, and then preventable medical errors now account for the first and third leading causes of death in the US.  Smiling and putting others first is not good for their health or our health.

Caring persons must learn to set healthy boundaries, advocate for themselves, use paid time off, avoid toxic people, learn, play, relax, run, break routines, and connect with other loving, whole giving persons.  And this is possible but not easy.

As a caregiver who experienced burnout first-hand, in 1992 I founded HCEI.org to teach self-care to others at risk for stress and burnout.  Our seminar "Celebrating Ourselves: Beating Burnout" has been presented across the US and UK and I'm eager to connect with allies who are also devoted to the issues surrounding self-care, employee engagement, patient safety and staff retention.

First, do no harm - especially not to yourself.  We all experience stress but it's possible to identify stressors and respond in healthy ways.  This takes practice, courage, energy and determination.  Self-care may seem selfish but when we care about ourselves first everybody benefits.
Posted by R. Scott Boots on Jun 5, 2018 6:33 AM America/Chicago

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