Typically, the summertime is a great opportunity for us to reset, unwind and find some relaxation. However, these past few months haven’t really felt like summer at all, other than the heat. COVID-19 changed a lot about our day-to-day lives, which for many people includes the ability to find some time to relax. This is especially true for a lot of clinicians and healthcare providers. Summertime fun has been overpowered by feelings of stress, uncertainty and even burnout.
Many of our valued healthcare staff are working harder than ever during this time, making it nearly impossible to find consistent pockets of peace we all need. Tomorrow is National Relaxation Day, and there’s few more deserving of some R&R than clinical providers. While taking extended time off or even a couple of days isn’t feasible for many, there are still ways both physical and mental health care givers can find some relaxation during this busy and often chaotic time.
We asked our Chief Nursing Officer, Mary Gannon, to weigh in on the importance of both frontline providers and those working to further care to take time for themselves and how relaxation, or lack thereof, directly affects the mind and body.
It all ties back to self-care. Living in a world of constant stress, worry and chaos such as many (if not all) of our frontline workers do–it becomes even more important to take some time back for themselves. This daily stress can take a toll both physically and emotionally. Either a few minutes a day or unplugging on days off is not only going to improve your outlook and mood but has significant physical effects as well.
Deliberate relaxation is proven to help decrease measurable physical factors such as heart rate, blood pressure and reduction in pain. It also improves the body’s ability to fight disease by improving the immune system and decreasing cortisol levels in the body, otherwise known as the fight or flight response. This promotes a sense of calm and helping to improve coping abilities.
We continue to be inspired and amazed at the incredible work of healthcare staff throughout the country, especially during these difficult times. We’re in awe of our clients’ resiliency and unwavering effort to deliver the best care possible to their communities. Dedication and hard work can undoubtably take a toll, therefore prioritizing yourself and your needs is critical to wellbeing. Whether it be tomorrow during National Relaxation Day, or anytime that best suits your needs, we encourage all healthcare clinicians and providers as well as our associates to take some time for themselves.
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