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Taking Care (of yourself !)

With the heat of summer upon us and as we prepare for the next semester (just around the corner) it may feel like there is no moment to  catch your breath. One of my Board of Director colleagues from the IOA (International Ombuds Association) recently shared some ideas for self care. While it was focused on fellow ombuds, it may be helpful for all and I’m passing them on for your consideration.

From Dave Carver (University of Nebraska Medical Center Student / Employee Ombuds –    IOA Board of Directors – Licensed Psychologist)(with edits):

Basic tips for staying healthy in both mind and body:

  • Practice a “quiet time”stress management method of your choice for at least 20 minutes daily. Some examples of quiet time practices include deep breathing, mindfulness meditation, prayer, or positive affirmations.
  • Daily physical activitycan help ease stress and brighten your mood. Direct sunlight and fresh air can also provide a refreshing break from long periods of online interaction. (From Roy Baroff: I’ll add an idea that I learned from Chevron while attending an IOA meeting in Houston. It’s part of the Chevron wellness plan that across the world, every 30 minutes, while still working, people stand up for 20 – 30 seconds. Add this to your day in front of your computer screen!)
  • Spend a few minutes each day reviewing your strengths and accomplishments, including your goals and values. Avoid perfectionistic self-criticism and comparing yourself to others negatively.
  • Make a commitment to get 7 – 8 hours of high quality sleep whenever possible. Make sure your sleeping room is dark, not too hot or cold, and free from unnecessary electronic distractions. Don’t sleep with your smartphone! Avoid excessive caffeine or alcohol consumption and stop working at least 30 minutes before bedtime.
  • Stay in touch with supportive friends and family, while avoiding large crowds and shared public spaces as much as possible. Look for sources of humorin your daily life. Remember the old saying, laughter is the best medicine!
  • Spend a few minutes daily reviewing the things you have to be grateful for in your life.
  • Maintain regular contact with your family (extended), friends, and other trusted colleagues. We need to maintain meaningful human contact, even when regular in-person meetings are not possible. And make it a point to reach out to others who appear to be struggling. We are all in this together!

Thanks Dave! These are some great tips to help us all show up every day in our family and work!