For those of us working in health and care, whether on the front line or in management and supporting roles, we need to be conscious on how we look after ourselves during the Covid Pandemic. Whether in lock down or going to a place of work to care for others, a framework for selfcare is key.
Especially important in the uncertain times that Covid 19 brings when the potential for burn-out is high and psychological and physical resilience maybe at its lowest,
we need to pay attention to our psychological, physical and emotional hungers*.
The need for sensation input into our five senses, sight, sound, taste, smell and touch. Most humans seek them out. This is why roller coasters make money and adrenaline fuelled sports are popular, it is why the smell of coffee, baking bread, wild flowers can inspire.
We need to find something that gives us some kind of stimulation through our day.
That is now probably very different than it was only a month ago, so how we can we stay safe and psychologically re energise ourselves. How can we keep engaged and motivated?
What works for you? How do you find time to recover? How do you feed your mind, body and spirit?
We need our status to be acknowledged and to also belong to something, feel part of something.
We need to be noticed, receive attention, feel we are connected to something bigger. Human beings are meaning making creatures. So, what will help you feel recognised and valued? Is it already there or do you need to go and look to different places for it?
This one is going to be the hardest in current times for sure.
The need for physical touch by another person, handshake, hugs, pat on the back, being physically close. In contact with ourselves is key. Is your body getting the rest and nutrients that you need? How are we making contact with others in a different way? How are you connecting with the Oxytocin “the cuddle hormone” that makes you feel good?
Time Structure Hunger
Humans need to take sense of our lives we need planning and some order.
What we do with our time to avoid pain and boredom? How do we find some structure in the working day? How can we mark the start and end of it, the difference between a weekend or a time off a shift? For those working from home, the difference between the weekday and the weekend, the end and the start of the day?
This is the need for anything unusual, challenging, exciting or novel, something that alleviates the general day to day.
Maybe some of us right now feel there is too much incident hunger being fed, some of us maybe craving for more. It is important to notice this and find your own balance if you can. Or at least be aware of what is going on for you.