Safety in Self Care

As UHN heightens its focus on safety, and continues its journey towards making safety a major organizational focus that will eliminate preventable harm to staff and patients, I think about the significance of self-care, and the impact self-care practices can have on the overall well-being of our employees, in turn affecting their ability to provide safe, compassionate care to patients.

I can appreciate that each individual’s definition and interpretation of the term, self care, is unique.  Thus, I invite you to read on to explore resources and strategies for how you might implement, discover or revisit self care practices, that bring you joy.

To begin, imagine you’re about to be exiled to a deserted island, hypothetically of course…

deserted-island

In addition to the essentials, you may take someone you know, a piece or collection of music, a book, a photograph and a craft or hobby.  Please take a moment to think about what you would you take and why?

Were you able to come up with a specific item for each?  My intention and hope in sharing the exercise above with you, is that you are reminded of several self care tools and practices that you already have at your disposal.

As an aside… Several months ago, I had the privilege of leading a group of OR nurses through the exercise above.  When it came to thinking of someone to invite, one of the nurses asked if she could bring the pool boy.  My response, “If he is going to bring you joy, why not!?!”. 

So, how do we turn self-care ideas into practice?  I invite you to explore the resources below:

The folks at Homewood Health have developed an extensive Self-Care Plan with several strategies for implementing self care, into your life:  self-care-toolkit

From compassionfatigue.ca, a list of self care tips and resources for helpers: self-care-tips-for-helpers

Finally, for UHN employees, there are several opportunities and resources available through UHN Wellness.  For more information, visit the corporate intranet site here.

Be well.

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