We’re ambitious, we’re dedicated, and we’re passionate with our roles as practice managers, but often those traits can hamper even the best self-care intentions. Building it into your life is a fantastic way of resetting yourself and putting yourself first rather than last. There are days where all you’re doing is dealing with irate and crude patients at your medical practice, or sitting on the phone fixing an IT issue (when in the end, all you needed to do was turn the darn thing off and then back on again). That magic word, self-care, is ‘quality fuel’ for your mind, body, and soul. Here are some of my favourite tips to nurturing myself so that I’m ready to tackle each and every day.
CHECK IN WITH YOURSELF
Sometimes, all it takes is five minutes a day to check in with yourself. Take a breath, note what’s on your mind, and pay attention to your stress levels. This is all about clearing your head of the multiple issues you’re dealing with, and toning it down to one thing at a time.
When you think of self-care, most of us picture long bubble baths with 50 lit candles burning into oblivion. But it’s not just about that – it’s about getting out and doing something you love, something that brings you joy. Ensure you put time into your life to do your favourite hobby, and if you haven’t found one yet there’s a myriad of ideas out there! From playing an instrument and scrapbooking, to gardening and adult dance classes, having a hobby to allow your mind to take a break is essential.
UNPLUG FROM THE SOCIAL
In all seriousness, social media is thought to contribute to issues with depression, anxiety, stress, time management, focus and attention. That endless scroll on social feeds can leave you feeling ‘blah’ and wondering where the last hour has gone (Tik Tok, anyone?). The solution is to just get off it. Keep your accounts, but take the apps off your phone and set yourself a timed goal for how long you want to stay away for. Do your favourite, or newfound, hobby instead!
EAT WELL, STAY HYDRATED
We’ve all done it at some point – eaten as fast as possible between tasks, forgotten to eat, or purposely avoided a meal. Believe it or not though, food affects our performance, energy levels and our moods, and without harping on too much like a nutritionist, having a balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats throughout the day will help keep your blood sugar levels stable and keep you energised throughout the day. And water? Get into the habit of taking a bottle with you where ever you go and put an hourly reminder in your phone to drink. This tips seems pretty basic, but it’s essential.
SETTING YOURSELF UP WITH A ROUTINE
How do you get out of the miserable rut of that early morning rush to get to work on time? One word – routine. Morning and evening routines prime you and get you ready to think clearly. All it takes is a bit of discipline. Waking up at the same time every day is just as important as going to bed at the same time every night. Making the bed makes you feel like you’ve accomplished the first task of the day and give you a sense of pride. Exercise is transformative, and fights anxiety. It’s all about the little things you put into your routine that set the tone for the day, or night, at hand.
WE ARE FAMILY
Your self-care is crucial for the whole family’s health. Human beings need close relationships, and we need to have time with our loved ones. Set aside a rule that weekends are for family, where you all do at least two activities everyone enjoys – a barbecue where everyone is involved in the cooking and cleaning, a hike along a nearby bush track, or a playdate with another family. Carve out the time for family because they are your rock and your priority.
SKINCARE AND MEDITATION
Everyone can benefit from a skincare routine – women and men! An effective and efficient skin care routine with all natural products is therapeutic in helping you feel your best and boosting your confidence. Stress can impact the skin negatively, so having a routine is great to counter that, as is meditation, which provides mental clarity, increases mindfulness, and nourishes almost all of your self-care domains. Give it a go – you may thorough take to it!
HAVE A SELF-CARE ACTION PLAN
A who-to-the-what-now? I hear you. A self-care action plan is a fail-safe, created by you, filled with your favourite self-care activities and ways to reactivate yourself. This can take a bit of time to complete, but I guarantee you it’s worth it. There are plenty of printables on the internet, or you can create your own, but in the end it’s all about listing your self-care needs and following through with them to ensure you’re making you the priority.
Try these steps, find out what works for you, add them or take them off your list, and follow through. When you find easy ways to contribute to your wellbeing and your self-care, it doesn’t seem like such a time-consuming task. I would love to hear what you do for self-care and how it’s helped you grow as a practice manager.