Archive for Stress and Caregivers

Stress, Wonder and Wisdom – Igniting Health in Healthcare Professionals

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Sadly, health care sometimes seems like anything but…especially for the professionals working within the healthcare industry.  Hours are long, stress is high, burnout comes easy, and it’s common for caregivers to give all their energy to those they care for, leaving little or no energy for their own self care.  Something needs to change, and the change must come from within.

Stress in healthcare is taking its toll on the industry from the inside out.  It’s been nearly forty years since the first studies were produced linking stress to illness and disease.  Still today, it is estimated that nearly 80% of illness and disease can be attributed to the effects on our physical, emotional, and mental well-being.  How are you managing your stress? Who better to lead the way to better health than healthcare professionals themselves?  I propose that we as healthcare professionals take “walking our talk” a little more seriously, and become the change we want to see in healthcare.  Nothing is going to change unless you change.

Just like disease, health can be contagious too-in families, among work peers and in social circles.  Becoming and staying strong and resilient to illness and disease is your best opportunity to enjoy and long quality life.  Whole health and happiness – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually – simply requires the desire and commitment to placing value on your quality of life. Why is it that we can effortlessly make deposits into our financial retirement account, but often ignore the need to make deposits into our “well-being” account so we can enjoy the fruits of our labor with ample vitality and energy?   Only you can choose to make your life a journey of happiness and discovery vs. illness and despair.  That’s what wisdom is all about.

“Wisdom begins in wonder”   -Socrates

I love this “wise” statement.  It is so true.  The more you wonder, the more you learn. The more you experience, the more you know, and the more your wisdom grows.  This expansive state of wonder is as applicable to our SELF as it is to exploring our world.

What if you approached learning about decreasing your stress and improving your well-being with a sense of innocence, openness, receptiveness, discovery and knowing?  What if your
well-being came from starting in wonder?

Try it over the next few weeks.  Begin by wondering…  “What would I feel like and learn if…”

  • I paused throughout each day to observe my breath and slow down?
  • I took regular stretch breaks during the day?
  • I ate only vegetables one day this week?
  • I gave up soda pop this month?
  • I invited someone I don’t know very well to lunch one day?
  • I scheduled meaningful time with a special friend or family member?
  • I gave up watching TV for the week or month?
  • I kept a regular bedtime/wake time schedule and got 8 hours of sleep each night?
  • I planned ahead and brought a healthy lunch every day this week?
  • I took 10 minutes each day to sit in stillness and meditate?
  • I made it a point to show appreciation for a co-worker each day?
  • I took time to reflect and write down what it is I really want in life?
  • I took time to cook a new vegetable or recipe?
  • I took the time to be fully present with my kids or spouse and really listen to them?
  • I finally tried a yoga class or that yoga DVD at home?
  • I got out and took a walk each day?

 What do you wonder about, but have yet to try?  Why not now?

True happiness and well-being can only come from within.  There is no job, raise, praise, big house, child or grandchild, number of friends, or perfect outfit that can make you truly happy. Caring for your SELF and the resultant sense of well-being leads to more wanting and desiring what is good for you– which will continue to expand your well-being.  This is “right action” – action that is good for you, good for those you love, care for and serve, and good for the world.  What could be better?

Nature’s Course Runs Deep

Bear with me here. I am feeling compelled to share yet another “body message” with some meaningful analogies personal growth and transformation. It all started with slippery steps and a fall. I landed hard on my upper right thigh with a bruise the size of a cantaloupe! (I have pretty large thighs!) Anyway,  as I have observed the healing process, I notice that my skin color is returning to normal or balance from the inside- out, to where now I just have a discolored ring around the “landing area”.
So I realized that this relates to the process of integrative wellness. In other words, “quick fixes” for discomfort -physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually- are like putting a band aid on the surface without allowing the deeper, inside-out healing to occur. It’s so easy to grab onto fad diets, energy drinks, busy-ness, withdrawal, alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, and collecting stuff for the quick “feel better” affect rather than increasing awareness and working with the long lasting tools of a lifetime. Transformation starts deep – with meaningful choices and changes- one at a time. And yes, nature once again shows us how to return to balance…from the inside- out, lasting for the long haul.
The key is to know who you are, what you want, what you need, and what is true for you. Then go after it! This is where I have found the help of a coach or mentor paramount. Someone to guide and support you in ways that matter to you. That’s how long lasting lifestyle transformation occurs.

How does stress or “wake up calls” show up in your life?


to begin your process of “inside-out” change and healing.

How “Rich” is Your Health Account?

span style=”color: #003469; font-size: 14px;”>Like many people, you most likely have a plan and a routine for saving money for future life events – like vacations, celebrations, home improvements and even retirement.   The habit of making  regular “deposits” into this account can help you feel more at ease about your ability to enjoy the future and the fruits of your labor.

How often are you making “deposits” into your personal health and resilience account?  Do you have the same habit of taking care of yourself now so you can have the health and energy to enjoy the very events you are saving money for?  All it takes is one major health crisis to send you into financial challenge, with deductibles, co-pays, and medications.  There are ways to fortify your overall health and resilience so you can enjoy the results of your saving habits.  Here is a list of positive lifestyle factors that increase resilience, decrease stress, retard aging, and contribute to a “rich health account”.

  • Happy marriage or satisfying long-term relationship
  • Job satisfaction
  • Feelings of personal happiness
  • Ability to laugh easily
  • Satisfactory sex life
  • Ability to make and keep close friends
  • Regular daily routine that includes movement, rest, good nutrition
  • Regular work routine
  • Taking at least one week’s vacation every year
  • Feeling in control of personal life
  • Ability to adapt to change
  • Enjoyable leisure time, satisfying hobbies
  • Ability to express feelings easily
  • Optimistic about the future
  • Feeling financially secure, living within means

How “rich and abundant” is your health account?

Be Well,