Welcome to part II of my blog series on Care for the Caregiver!
Wellness for professional caregivers is just beginning to emerge as an important topic. With a shortage of professional caregivers such as nurses, nursing assistants, home health providers, and physical therapists, to name a few, the topic of caregiver wellness will be even more important as our population ages.
This week, I want to address the topic of the physical aspect of wellness. It doesn't take much to find articles and information on the subject of diet, sleep, and exercise as critical elements of wellness. But something that I believe is even more important is the topic of rest - physical rest! Getting enough sleep is vital and exercising regularly is, too. After all, as professional caregivers, we talk about this endlessly with our patients and clients.
But a missing piece that I discovered is the need for rest. Taking a day to rejuvenate - to shift gears and step away. Statistically, the United States has one of the longest work weeks in the world. And, since it can be difficult and sometimes impossible to change a work schedule, I want to make a proposal.
What if scheduling a day of rest periodically became a part of your lifestyle? I know that the immediate reaction can be, "That is just adding to my already hectic life." I'm not saying to stop doing everything, although sometimes my coaching clients end up doing that, which is why my retreats are so valuable. But what if you scheduled a "Sabbath?" It may be that you take your family and go someplace restful for the day. Or perhaps you and a friend do something that is on your "bucket list." Or maybe you will set Sundays aside to go to church and afterwards go to the park, leaving the bills, laundry, and grocery shopping for a whole day?
My coaching challenge for you this week is this - What does your ideal "day of rest" look like?
Is it time to give having a day of rest a try?
(Next week, we will look at the second aspect of caring for yourself as a caregiver. Here's a hint...intelligence.)