The Care Giver Guide to Caring for Yourself? I've never heard of such a thing.
Self Care is mandatory if you want to deliver services in a care profession.
It is common for those who are in early recovery to look at those trying to help them as examples or role models. If you are affiliated with a 12-Step program that relates to drugs and alcohol abuse, these clients can easily tell if you are not taking care of yourself. They quickly ask themselves "How can I be helped by someone who is as sick as me or worse?"
Care Giver Guide to Self-Care
It has been my experience that a balanced lifestyle that includes working on my own program outside of the workplace allow me to be able to be a more effective professional.
- Eat well.
- Sleep well.
- Enjoy hobbies and leisure time.
- Take sick time when needed.
Taking time for myself allows me to be able to be a more professional when offering services to those in treatment. This also means being willing to take time off when sick or burnt-out and trying to recover from personal ailments before returning to the workplace.
The Care Giver Guide - What Not to Do!
- Not getting enough sleep because of trying to "fit it all in" and getting burnt-out, which leads to being tired, lethargic and unable to remain present when awake.
- Skipping meetings, slacking on steps or sponsor communication, which leads to feelings of being a hypocrite or a poor example and role model. This may lead to a guilty conscious and a general lack of confidence when presenting.
- Not placing medical concerns before work in regards to medications and/or pain management, which may lead to being distracted by "my stuff" from the work at hand!
- Eating unhealthy foods. Remind yourself of the benefits of limiting caffeine intake, not gorging on sugar, and trying to have a more balanced diet.
In terms of balanced lifestyle activities, try to ensure that the following set-apart times are in place your own daily and weekly schedule.
- Attend meetings, read literature and work with others.
- Time to pray and meditate and work steps.
- Exercise: cardio (such as running), lifting weights or going on walks.
- Time for leisure activities such as playing guitar (which can be both a creative and emotional outlet).
- Spend time with your significant other and with the whole family --just enjoy each other's company.
- Time for catch-up rest. If you haven’t gotten enough sleep, then enforce a nap-time, as necessary.
- Spend time alone to reflect, relax, unwind, etc.
These are my personal must-haves in order to be sane, happy and helpful. What are yours?