Medical Residents are so focused on their patients that they sometimes forget about their basic needs. They neglect to eat, sleep, and maintain an overall healthy lifestyle. To be an effective doctor, it is time to be reminded of the importance of self-care. How can you give advice on maintaining good health for your patients if you cannot manage your own health? The dedication of the medical workforce to help patients know no bounds to the extent that you sacrifice your own physical and mental well-being. Even healthcare workers like you must take the time to look after your health.
As a doctor, you know how important it is to have a nutritious and balanced diet, get enough sleep and rest, and exercise regularly. The problem is that you forget the fact that you too need a doctor. The care that you provide your patients is something that you need also. Therefore, use your medical knowledge on yourself to keep yourself healthy.
Emotionally intense moments like the insurgence of many Covid-19 patients each day can affect your performance at work and your overall health. Though you cannot do something about the situation, you could at least manage your emotions so that you can manage work-related problems better.
First, be self-aware. You must also diagnose not only your physical pain but also be aware of what you are really feeling. This provides you with information that will help you improve managing yourself. Identify what triggers you emotionally so whenever you encounter it, you know when to take a break so that your nervous system will calm down. Moreover, knowing one’s self improves decision making not only for you but for your patients as well. The next step is self-management. Be in control of yourself and be organized with your activities. This way, you can solve your problems in a systematic and less-exhaustive manner.
Most important of all, be compassionate towards yourself. Do not overwork yourself. No matter how grave the situation is, find time to rest, reflect, and free yourself of all the worries of hospital life.
Being a medical resident does not mean you have to give up your social life. In fact, it is one of the important things that you must maintain. Keep a connection and a healthy relationship with your family, friends, and colleagues. No matter how hectic your schedule is, there is always a way you can squeeze in activities with your loved ones. You could also be part of a support group for healthcare workers where you can share your experiences, ask for emotional assistance, help others who have similar experiences like yours, and feel grateful for the things that you have like your job.
Due to the pandemic, you have to wear personal protective equipment that makes you sweat and develop rashes, pimples, or any form of irritation in your skin. You are also discouraged to wear base makeup because makeup on masks is considered contaminated and cannot be sterilized. In addition to this, makeup could damage the fabric of the mask making it a less effective barrier. Even manicure made of gels and acrylics is not allowed in many hospitals.
Despite this, a morning and evening skin-care ritual can soothe all irritations and remove disgusting germs, moisture, and dirt off your skin. It will not only cleanse your skin but give you comfort and calmness before going to the hospital and more importantly, after a hard day’s work. You can have an Epsom salt bath with relaxing essential oils like lavender and eucalyptus to calm your nerves and loosen your body. Do not forget to exfoliate your skin especially your face after work. In the morning, it is not advisable to cleanse your face so much as it will disrupt your skin’s natural protective barrier. If your skin is sensitive, make sure that you use the right products that suit your skin type.
In terms of wearing make-up, you could at least still use light eye make-up such as a natural pencil and liner since it will not touch your mask. This is important for many healthcare workers since the eyes are the only parts a patient can see in your face and they need to see a comforting and compassionate look, not an exhausted or fearful one. When it comes to nail care, you can shift to polish strips instead. You could also keep creams and balms in your makeup bags so that you can use them during your break time.
Do not let your hair get in your way. You could do hairstyles like braids that will not only give your hair protection but is easy to manage as well. Just keep your hair pulled back and out of your face.
Practicing self-care while on the front lines of a pandemic is not easy, but with the proper self-management techniques, your daily routines will go smoothly for you.