Residency coordinator self-care

Residency Program Insider, May 12, 2020

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Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from The Residency Coordinator’s Handbook, Fourth Edition. Click here to order your copy.

A residency coordinator’s overall wellness can be thought of as a wheel made up of different components, such as physical, mental, social, and psychological health. In an ideal world, each component will be fully realized, making the circumference of the wheel smooth. The problem is that the reality does not always work this way. If you map your wellness in each area, you might find that some of the components or areas are fuller than others. That resulting wheel is not very functional and will most likely lead to a bumpy ride. So what can you do to get closer to the ideal? Engage in self-care.

The practice of self-care is taking intentional actions to care for your physical, mental, emotional, and psychological health. Self-care can mean different things to different people. Someone with a chronic health issue may have different requirements than someone who is generally healthy; someone with young children may have different needs than someone who does not have children. Although self-care may happen in your life automatically, in times of stress, these actions may fall by the wayside. That is why creating a self-care plan is an important step to keeping self-care in your day-to-day life.

The documentation of a self-care plan is a commitment to attend to all domains of your life, with concrete steps to get you there. Self-care plans can address the day-to-day as well as crisis, emergency self-care. Given that self-care can vary widely, no single self-care plan will be the same as any other.

Development of a written self-care plan can help to do the following:

  • Identify wellness priorities
  • Identify allies who will help you obtain your goals
  • Create a sense of accountability to making wellness a priority
  • Serve as a reminder to attend to wellness during particularly stressful times

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