If you want to deliver the best possible care to patients, it starts as an inside job. In other words, take care of yourself mentally and physically so you will be in shape to care for others. Whether you work in direct patient care or other client-facing service roles, it’s important to be centered and prepared to serve the moment you take “the stage.” It takes emotional and physical energy.
I think back to the years when I was working as a staff nurse, and I remember that, regardless of how much I loved my career, it could be draining. Over the years, I came to realize that to be at my best I needed stamina to deal with the mental and physical challenges. Long shifts with a full bladder and empty belly can make you lose your service focus. Everyone has his or her own methods for self care, but for me, it requires staying centered through meditation, journaling, and regular exercise.
Encourage balance for yourself, your staff, and your co-workers. The best prescription for self care is to treat yourself with the same loving care you’d give your patients.