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  • #13497
    Friendly Responder
    Participant

    What an awesome concept – an online community for emergency workers! This is great.
    I spent 13 years as an emergency nurse and my hubby is a paramedic – self-care and wellbeing are VITAL to both of us. Sadly, when I was nursing, I didn’t take self-care seriously enough. Trauma after trauma left me with PTSD, and in the end, I had to leave the profession. I wish I knew then what I know now! Now, I take self-care very seriously. I practice yoga three times a week, I say “no” to things and people when I am tired or stressed, and I make sure I get plenty of sleep! I have tried an exercise routine but I am not well-disciplined enough with that just yet. Maybe a goal for 2021!
    I would love to hear what others do to take care of wellbeing?

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  • #13965
    Friendly Responder
    Participant

    I really enjoyed reading Margot’s story. I agree that it is so important to “wash the day” off you when you get home. I have read some studies that discuss the benefits of COLD showers as a way of engaging your body’s own relaxation mechanisms. I try to have 30 seconds under a cold shower 3 times a week. I am trying to extend that time, but I hate the cold so it is proving to be a challenge. The good thing is that I am starting to notice a difference in my energy levels and my moods.

    #13950
    onlinecommunity
    Keymaster

    Happy New Year to everyone in our growing First Responders community! Continuing on the topic of self-care, thought we’d post a grab from an excellent article on the new Griefline Resource Hub…it’s an interview with ‘Margot’ – a palliative care nurse who discusses getting through COVID, self-care and support networks and helping people say goodbye…below is an excerpt and you can check out the whole story here

    ‘Crisis situations ask a lot of first responders, creating the need for increased vigilance and added safety protocols. During lockdown, restrictions also cut people off from their healthy coping mechanisms like going to the footy, the gym, or seeing their friends. It can be helpful to create new rituals and coping mechanisms, like changing clothes or showering when you get home to help you feel like you’ve transitioned out of the workday. Reading, cooking healthy and comforting meals, and getting out of the house to exercise are all key to wellbeing. “And having a dog is a godsend,” Margot says. She recalls that during the lockdown, she and her colleagues would meet to check-in, walk their dogs together and use the time to debrief about work.’

    Our list of self-care rituals/tips is growing…let us know if you have something to share…

    #13755
    Friendly Responder
    Participant

    I have a friend who is a counsellor, and she is a walk-and-talk therapist and that is exactly what she does; she takes her clients on beautiful walks and helps them through their issues along the way. I think it is such a clever way to get your body moving and your mind to open up. I agree, Sarah, that a range of interests is helpful.

    #13536
    Sarah
    Participant

    I find in my work having a range of interests helps me download- I am an archeology nut and sit learning about the past at every opportunity. It reminds me we are part of a much bigger picture and life moves forward. Kelly makes me laugh as I know the other great thing is exercise, I just find it so BORING!!! My way around it is to walk and talk with a close friend. A debrief and exercise in one.

    #13498
    GL friend
    Participant

    Hey, @responderkelly thank you for your kind words. I think it’s a great concept too. Whilst I don’t have an emergency personnel background, I can relate to a time of not taking self-care seriously enough. I used to think my life must revolve around work for me to attain “success” and subsequently, “happiness”. When I took up yoga (like yourself), I started to realise that success is enjoying what I’m doing, whether it’s work or anything else. Quality over quantity, you see. I made many deliberate life changes once I came to this realisation. For my wellbeing, I love to cook. I find cleaning therapeutic too. There is something about getting lost in the rhythm of doing the dishes. I am also looking forward to reading what others love for their wellbeing.

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