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…”
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?
Which of your 7 Dimensions need your attention?
Try these simple body movements for an instant “wake up” or energy boost.
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.