Welcome to the latest edition of CDP News! We like to spend this time each week reviewing recent happenings in and around the Center for Deployment Psychology, while also looking ahead to upcoming events. Like many places around the country, the wintery weather this week combined with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday on Monday, took a large bite out of our work this past week. We’ve got several items on the horizon to more than make up for it however!
Blog posts with the tag "Self Care"
Working in an active duty Department of Defense (DoD) Behavioral Health Clinic can be challenging, with busy patient loads, complex cases, limited administrative time, and frequent short notice tasks. It can be a recipe for burnout, and those of us working there are often encouraged to engage in “provider self-care.” Such self-care is intended to be a daily ritual with the hope that doing so will prevent burnout and keep the caregivers healthy and productive. I’m a fan of the daily self-care model. I have an active social life, I regularly engage in my hobbies, I read, I exercise, I have a healthy diet, and even go to yoga. Even with all this text book self-care sometimes tragedy and adversity can crash into the personal lives of the caregiver.
Taking a Closer Look at One’s Helping Hands
As mental health providers how often do we ask ourselves, “How am I doing?” I imagine not often enough. However, compassion fatigue or burnout can be experienced even by the most dedicated and insightful clinicians. Our occupational responsibility is to offer a helping hand, but it's also our ethical responsibility to look at our hands for a quick assessment of their health. Are they cracked? Are they dry? Are there any scrapes or cuts? What needs to be done to better take care of them.
“Do as I say, not as I do.”
How often have we given advice…wonderful, wise advice…to our patients and never once considered its relevance to ourselves? The answer to this is, of course, often, very, very often.
Clinicians routinely talk to patients about the need for balance between work and personal life, the importance of good sleep hygiene, exercise, socialization and eating well. What prevents many of us from acting on this advice?