SELF-CARE TIPS FOR FRONTLINE WARRIORS
The world is dealing with a pandemic,that has used social distancing as an aid for containing the virus from spreading among other individuals. It is evident that an attachment or human contact is the key for wellness, which is why punishments for criminal activity includes confinement to a room in jail – this is considered as a torture. Within this idea, a person experiencing self-isolation or a forced lock-down becomes highly prone anxiety and stress. Coming to the frontline workers, such as doctors - the pandemic is even more challenging, as they are expected to go through the pandemic like others, while additionally render their services to those who are in need. This is the reason we call them frontline ‘warriors’ rather than workers. Although the warriors are expected to have better coping mechanisms, they too are humans first and might face a down fall when they reach their threshold and its okay! This blog will dive into the lives of Frontline Warriors and the techniques of self-care.
Who are frontline warriors?
Since the inception of the pandemic, health care professionals have sincerely been self-less warriors (even though some have taken the advantage of the crisis), looking on the brighter side, they gave up everything to fulfill their job responsibilities at cost of their lives and isolating themselves from their loved ones. The frontline warriors are not only healthcare professionals, but also many others like, police officers working day and night to inspect the curfew, even the garbage collectors who reached out to every household are our frontline warriors.
What is Self-Care?
Self-care is the one word that each of us have come across many times, on social media, in a group of friends or family etc.
Self-care can be defined as taking care of yourself, so that you can be happy and healthy. It is also a common misconception that self-care is self-indulgence or selfishness. But no, self-care involves various practices that promote well-being of us, our job and to help and care for others, but not at the cost of their disruption. It includes staying healthy, maintaining hygiene, having nutritious food, balanced fitness and seeking help when needed. It can be in simplest of ways, like not checking your phone at nights knowing it would disturb your sleep, or practicing a screen time limit.
Why is Self- Care important in our daily life?
Self-care motivates us to maintain a healthy relationship with ourselves and that radiates through our vibe to those around us as well. Most of us at some point of our lives, felt like we should be there for our friends or family and help them, but we cannot give others what we ourselves don’t have. When we start caring for ourselves first, loving ourselves, only then we will be able to love others too and care for them too.
While many have mistaken self-care for selfishness, however, it’s far from that. We strive to become the best version of ourselves, this - not only benefits us, but also the people around us. After all, we love to see ourselves grow into better humans. It is also important to note that self-care and self-improvement are subtly different from each other. A self-improvement attitude comes from a perfectionist mind-set, where we are not happy with ourselves and feel something needs to be fixed and improved all the time. But self-care is different because it’s about letting ourselves savor and experience the life as it is. A self-care attitude brings out positivity and helps us to experience, understand, and accept ourselves to further nurture our body, mind and soul. When we take care of ourselves, we will be able to maintain the calmness and make better decisions as opposed to when you are stressed. Irrespective of our social lives and relationships with others, it is important to maintain boundaries, have a ‘me time’ and encourage others to take out time for themselves. It can be talking a walk, a shower, listening to music, reading books, maintaining a journal or anything that relaxes you like a stress buster. The main motive of self-care remains to live a peaceful life without any stress and live happily with ourselves and others.
Self- Care for Frontline Warriors:
In the wake such unprecedented times (Covid-19), the frontline warriors are the ones who are in dire need of ‘me time’ or a self-care regime. The lack of sleep, increased physical activity, stress and anxiety of catching the virus is immaculate and has taken a toll on the frontline warriors. Thus, all of us, especially the frontline warriors need to practice self-care and de- stress ourselves. But how can a person of importance ‘a frontline warrior’ can practice self- care without avoiding their work? It is about striking that balance.
Mindfulness can be defined as being aware of the environment and our behavior towards it. It promotes a non-judgmental attitude towards the experience of different things and relationships. Acknowledge your feelings and accept them. You may seek help from a professional to inculcate mindfulness as a habit and way of living. Meditate with soothing music, music is known to be a common stress buster and meditation helps us to bring awareness to our body; it relaxes our mind and when our mind is relaxed, we will be able to make better decisions and function efficiently. Mindfulness can also be in the form of maintain a hygiene and healthy food habits.
You can join your co-workers and share a lunch along with a laugh. While having a stressful day at work, with high adrenaline and emotional changes you may not have an appetite, so partnering with co-workers can be an efficient way to avoid skipping meals and gives relaxation. Communication is key. Communicate with your family members and friends, this provides an assurance that our loved ones are fine and relieves us from the anxiety. Communicate with clients and patients, motivate and invoke compassion, it brings about resilience which helps them fight with strength. Watch out for your tone. While communicating with co-workers, maintain a positive tone - this comes in addition to mindfulness.
3. Invest in Physical Health: Self-care also includes maintaining good health. This means to practice yoga, have proper sleep, or get a massage occasionally. learn to say no, when you feel a burnout, turn down a task or two. It is okay to take a break. Have a 10-minute stretching session in between work shifts or after the work shifts. Exercising will help relieve the stress levels, so feel free to stretch out yourself as and when you feel like.
4. Switch off and unwind: During your free time, try not to indulge yourself in your mobile. Instead concentrate on a hobby, just relax and spend time with your friends and family. watch your favorite show and cook your favorite recipe. Try to limit yourself from social media or news where there is a discussion or debate on the current crisis. Give yourself some slack and restrain from talking or thinking about it.
5. Seek Online Counselling for Mental Health: Seeking help from a counsellor or therapist is also a part of self-care as it involves your effort to reach out and make yourself better. It is highly important to take care of mental wellbeing while working at the frontline. The grim state around could cause a feeling of depression, negativity along with stressful working hours. Thus, seeking guidance and connecting with an online counselor could be helpful. One could seek online counselling and talk to a counsellor at ease and comfort while being at the workfront.