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More Than Healthcare Self-Care

Marshall Smith, MFT-Intern

“I love my job,” “my patients need me,” “I should have done a better job,” “if I do not take care of my patients who will?” These thoughts are not uncommon in occupations that entail caring for other people, and with the status of the world today, you may be having these thoughts. These thoughts may drive you to work harder, pick up extra shifts, shove down any emotions, and lead you to take a suck-it-up mentality in order to do what needs to be done. As a therapist, I would be lying if I were to say, I had never done this before. While these thoughts may seem productive, motivating, or beneficial for you now, they are physically, emotionally, and spiritually draining.

Unfortunately, these thoughts are often precipitated by long hours, extra shifts, and working during pandemics. Even so, you still have the desire to help people and do everything you can, and for healthcare workers, patients are still lost even when you give every ounce of care, compassion, tears, sweat, and swollen joints you can. When this happens, those thoughts mentioned earlier can often come in droves. Yet, you have to continue working and caring for patients with the same amount of dedication and energy the next day, and the next, and the next.  

So, what are you supposed to do? You have likely been taught self-care techniques that have their place, but what about when those no longer work? What about when you are too tired to talk about your day, so you go to bed only to experience the same thing the next day while having a smile on your face for your children or partner? This happens to many, many healthcare workers, and while you signed up to care for the most ill of patients, you did not sign up for depression, anxiety, alcoholism, divorce, and losing your sense of self and happiness.

As healthcare workers, you are some of the most important, influential, and impactful people in patients’, families’, and individuals’ lives, and you deserve to enjoy your job and still love yourself. While you may not want to come in for therapy and be asked, “how does that make you feel,” instead, let us have a conversation where you can let out your thoughts, emotions, frustrations, fears, and worries about your situation. If you are seeking a place to express your thoughts, feelings, and emotions, or simply dump the difficult things you see at work and leave less stressed, I am here for you. Come and see me, Marshall Smith, and I can give you the time, ear, and space you need to return to your preferable physical, emotional, and spiritual state.  Here’s a link to the Dr. White and Associates scheduling portal.