I have spent the past five years of my life as a Trauma Chaplain in the Level 1 trauma center. I have completed four units of Clinical Pastoral Education and have served in ministry for sixteen years. I recently took a hiatus to focus on completing my education, so I can become board certified and to begin working on a book about Self Care in Healthcare.
I am going to be spending the next couple of weeks devoting my blog to that very topic, and give you a glimpse of what is to come in my self care book. The first question I am always asked is, “What is self care?” and that is a great question. Self care is defined in the Oxford dictionary as “The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.” It is a taking a moment to step away and take focus on you. This is something that many of us need to work on. We are always so worried about taking care of others, that we don’t stop to take care of ourself.
So here we are in the midst of a global pandemic. There is so much uncertainty around what is going to happen. The twenty-four hour news cycle does not help this. So my first self care tip would be turn off the news. Disconnect from Fox, CNN, MSNBC, all of it. May of these stations are running “gotcha” headlines to drive up the numbers. It is ok to stay informed, but do it from directly from the CDC where it is only facts and data on how to prepare and not opinions from the talking heads.
Disconnect from social media. There is so much arguing taking place on social media, and false information be spread, that it could be detrimental to your health. It is ok to log on and post pictures and recipes. But it is best to avoid the posts that are causing further division. Trust me, I am guilty on this one.
So what can you do to fill your time instead of watching the news? I recommend reading a book. I recently started reading The Way of A Pilgrim which talks about Russian Spirituality. But find a book on a subject you enjoy and get lost in it. Allow yourself to escape from the chaos around you, even just for a few moments, to give your brain and soul a bit of rest.
As I said, over the course of the next couple of weeks I will be offering tips on self care, these may be as simple as stated above just to read or book, or it may be a guided prayer and reflection. Please continue to follow the blog for tips and my hope for you is that you will have a little distraction from what is going on around us.