Clinical Practice

You can’t pour from an empty glass

The thought of endless quarantine got you down? Check out these 6 tips for how to care for yourself in lock-down.

If you’ll allow me to paint with a wide brush, Audiologists on the whole are an empathetic bunch. We chose this line of work because we like helping people. Both in these unsettling times and in our ‘normal’ day-to-day lives, we want to help our patients, our families, our friends, our book club, our church group, our pets, our second cousin twice removed…the list goes on and on. At times, helping ourselves falls to the bottom of the priority list. And you, my friend, cannot pour from an empty glass. I’m not judging, it takes one to know one. Here are things you can do right now to take care of you!

  • Prioritize ‘me time’

I know you think you don’t have any ‘me time’ and this is why you have to create it. Tomorrow, set your alarm clock for 30 mins before you’ve been waking up. In this 30 mins, while the house is quiet and the kids are still asleep and the world is peaceful, this is when you fill your own cup, i.e. do whatever makes you feel your best. That can change from day-to-day. Today you might need a nice hot shower and tomorrow you might need a quiet cup of tea while you stare off into space. Anything you want, EXCEPT touching your phone. The moment you pick up your phone you’ll immediately get sucked into working and reacting to the world around you. In these 30 minutes, your time is yours and you don’t owe anyone anything. I started with 30 minutes, liked it so well I bumped it to 45 and now I’m up to an hour.

Tip: if your phone is your alarm clock, plug it in at night across the room. Getting up to turn off the alarm makes it so much easier to stay up and not crawl back into bed.

  • Get some exercise

To quote the immortal Elle Woods, “Exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy!” If you can finish that quote- you are my kind of people. During these endless home office days I sit for 10 to 11 hours. I think my bottom is developing a flat spot, like a weird misshapen pumpkin. Getting up helps. A ton. Not only will you get the mood boost, but also if the weather is tolerable you’ll also get some sunshine. Involve the family and take your pets. The whole household will benefit from the change in perspective with an endorphin-filled boost in their moods.

Tip: On bad weather days, search YouTube for an exercise video

  • Make a routine

Our lives have been turned upside down and it’s far too easy to work until bedtime. I find myself skipping meals and not getting up as often as I need to use the bathroom. Now that the office is just outside of the bedroom (and for some of us living in small flats the office may be in your bedroom) I needed a brand new routine. Build structure in your day by waking up for ‘me-time’,  making your bed, having lunch during your normal lunch hour (block it out if you need to) and putting work away by 6 or 6:30.

Tip: Set alarms on your phone to remind you to get up, make lunch, or take a break at regular intervals.

  • Spruce up your workspace

Personalizing your workspace makes it nicer to sit there for hours on end. I love having fresh flowers on my desk, they make me happy, but if they aren’t your thing, consider adding a photo of your family or lighting a candle. Try to keep your desktop clean. If you’re not on a call play your favorite music. I prefer classical when I need to concentrate, and when I get a break- “Alexa, play Fleetwood Mac’s Greatest Hits”

Tip: Periodically rotate decorative items from other parts of the house to freshen up your desk for a few days and if you have “nice” tea cups, drink from those and give the Yeti a rest. Life is short, use the good china.

  • Do a little personal development

As we settle into our ‘new normal’ some may find themselves with extra time on their hands. I’ve already completed my 20 CEUs for my license…which is due next August. Get your ongoing education sorted then branch out. Been wanting to learn about Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? Now’s the time to take an online course. Had “learn to play piano” on your New Year’s Resolution list for 5 years running but haven’t tackled it yet? This is your year. Want to learn Italian like Elizabeth Gilbert? Attraversiamo!

Tip: If your nail salon is closed and you want to learn how to do an at-home manicure- YouTube is a great resource.

  • Call someone

If you’re feeling lonesome- reach out to someone. We live in an unprecedented time. In seconds we can use our phones and have a face-to-face with just about anyone. If we were quarantined 100 years ago, we would all have to write each other letters. Use technology to your advantage. If you find yourself in a dark place, its ok to not be ok. Maybe you’re lonely or maybe you’re worried about your aging parents who are at-risk or fighting the virus. Talking makes it better- so call someone.

Tip: There are many telehealth counseling options available. Be sure that you work with a licensed professional- Talk Space has thousands of licensed therapists.

During these unsettling times I wish you all health, happiness, empty bladders, full tummies and a full glass to pour from.

 

We invite you to visit the eAudiology page on phonakpro.com where you will find numerous tools to help you support your clients remotely.

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