Posted by Eva Owens
December 15, 2020
Taking care of yourself can be tough for care professionals, because your work takes a lot of time and energy. But your own well-being needs to be a priority for 2 reasons:
- It's impossible to hold everything together if you are falling apart! On airplanes, flight attendants tell us to always put on our oxygen masks before we help others with theirs. This is not selfish, it’s common sense: You will not be able to help someone else if you are passed out! We are better able to provide great care to others when we first take the time to make sure we are doing okay.
- You matter! You deserve the same care and consideration you would give to your loved ones if they were stressed out. Your family, friends and consumers care for you and do not want you to suffer.
These days, we are all coping with a lot of worry, isolation and uncertainty. Here are a few things you can focus on to help you feel good:
- Prioritize your physical health with 30 minutes of movement a day. This could be anything, from low-impact walking and stretching to getting a workout in. A consistent daily routine of sleep, good nutrition and movement and can really make a difference to your state of mind.
- Stay connected with your loved ones. Reach out to friends and family by phone or video chat. Even when we can’t be in the same places and share a hug, seeing the faces and hearing the voices of our loved ones can help us feel more connected.
- Focus on what makes you happy. Make time to do the things that help you stay positive — whether it’s baking or crafts, practicing your faith, taking a walk or even just watching a movie.
- Reach out for more help if you need it. There are many resources available to caregivers to support your emotional health, including:
Washington Recovery Help Line: 1-866-789-1511 (help for mental health and substance abuse).
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233 (to call if you or someone you know has experienced domestic violence).
Washington Listens: 1-833-681-0211 (to call if you need support because you are anxious or stressed due to COVID-19.
211, for 211.org (for critical personal life help services — such as food, housing, financial guidance, addiction, domestic violence, education or employment — emotional health services, and more.
1-800-273-8255 (TTY 711), for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (a free and confidential support phone line for people in distress, or guidance for how to help people in your life who are in distress.
911 (call for emergencies).
SEIU 775 Benefits Group’s website has additional self-care resources:
- Receive 24/7 personal coaching on your touchscreen phone for emotional support and life guidance.
- Get help through the Employee Assistance Program, or your health plan.
- Learn meditation and relaxation skills
Carina can help as well — whether it’s finding a caregiver to fill in when you need a break, or finding work by matching up with a new consumer!
You take care of a lot of people. You deserve to be taken care of, too.