Embracing Self-Care: One Nudge at a Time.
As we this year towards the home stretch of 2021, with many preparing for Holiday celebrations with filled with shopping, food, and family, there comes with this the inevitable business leading many into distress and leading to decisions that we come regret and come up with resolutions to combat in January. In addition to this, covid-19 remains in the forefront of many people’s lives bringing with it illness, isolation, and bitterness that puts damper on our spirits and also is harmful to our health: physical, mentally, and even spiritually. So, the first mention of embracing self-care is easy to disregard. We all are I’m sure familiar with the self-talk, “I’m too busy for that” or “I’ll get to that sometime later.” But maybe we should realize that this is when we need to address self-care the most. I recently listened to a podcast from Jimmy McKay’s PT Pintcast titled: “Three Insights You Need From an FBI Hostage Negotiator” (December 02, 2021) that discussed how to engage clients about making behavior changes being asking “No” questions. (“Would you be against…) And I think it is applicable to self-care as my question to you the reader is: “Would you be against doing something small to positively nudge your health and your stress in the right direction? Would you be against trying some different over the next 30 days to improve your self-care?” With this in mind, I helped create a 30-day self-care challenge.
The background for this really starts at least in 2020 with the start of the pandemic. At that time, one of my colleagues with APTA Michigan, Lori Boright, suggested that we consider starting a chapter task force to address how the pandemic was already starting to negatively PT and PTA professionals within her circle. Upon forming, the task force focused through SoMe on strategies to address self-care problems and the work continues to the present. As the task force continues to look for creative ways to nudge our membership, I helped create the 30 day APTA Michigan Health and Wellness Challenge that is being published in our fourth quarter edition of Shorelines coming to member’s emails in early December, as well as to our website: aptami.org
In addition to my service to the chapter, I have also been active with the Academy of Prevention and Health Promotion Therapies (APHPT) which focuses on population health and upstream strategies to improving overall health. A cornerstone to this tribe is a focus on strategies to address are what we call “The Elements” #MOVE #FUEL #RECOVER #ENDURE #CONNECT. If you look at the research relating to improving the health of populations you will find that there is ample evidence to support interventions to improve physical activity, diet, sleep, coping/stress mediation, and interactions/relationships with those around you. Obviously, use of strategies to address the elements also have a strong impact on the individual level and this is where many of the self-care activities included within the 30-day self-care challenge come from. The activities within include mostly one day nudges, but also some 7-day challenges that serve as a circuit breakers to change your routine and habits. Maybe you’ve tried some of these things before, maybe not. There are strategies that address all of the elements in some way or another. Many focus on stress management. Hopefully, you’ll give them a try and maybe make some new habits.
With this in mind, I take us back to the question: Would you be against participating in this 30-day challenge? Despite this being a busy time of year, there is never truly a better time to start. I hope that you will consider treating yourself and embrace your self-care!