This title may need further explanation. As you probably already know, I am creating a medical apparel line called OliveUs. This is my pride and joy company that incorporates my two greatest passions in this world: medicine and fashion. I have literally been dreaming of making scrubs since I was in high school, but nursing had my attention far before fashion.
Ok, let’s get into it. In a field that was created to give ourselves to others, it is important to account for Orem’s theory of self care deficit. This theory was developed by Dorothea Orem to discuss an individual’s ability to provide themselves care. To provide YOURSELF care.
How are OliveUs supposed to give to our community, patients, neighbors, friends, and family if we are not providing care to ourselves? Picture yourself as a car. Gas (or electricity these days) is basic self-care. You can drive people around for 30 miles or so without needing to refuel but eventually you need to do something just for yourself.
Even if the intention is to boost your spirit simply so you can take care of others. For example, a morning coffee to give yourself the energy and love so you can take that energy and spend it on others. Now, an oil change is moderate self care. This may be saying no to hanging out with friends to get a few more hours of sleep or watch a movie to winddown after a long day. This can also be you taking the time to hangout with friends and ignore work for a period of time.
Moderate self care can be primary, secondary, or tertiary prevention for your emotional wellbeing. Severe self care is when the car breaks down and needs to be seen by a mechanic. This is tertiary prevention. It is not ideal to wait until you need the selfcare, to finally give time to YOU. Time is a gift, remember that. Not OliveUr time should be spent on OliveUs.
Yes, there needs to be time and efforts spent on yourself EVERYDAY. It is impossible to give everything to other people and other causes if you don’t have enough to give to yourself.
So what is something that you do just for yourself every day? For me, I always get a breakfast sandwich when I am working a day shift at the hospital. I make the time for this every single morning, except for Sundays when the cafeteria is closed and extremely rare occurrence that I am way too busy to have 5 minutes to myself.
Its hard to use a definitive at work, like always or never, because we are taught as medical providers to be flexible and that there is always (here I go using a definitive) an exception to every rule.
The far majority of shifts, you should be able to say that you did something for yourself, even if that simply means taking a bathroom break when you want. With doing this, you will have more energy to be attentive to your patients, coworkers, family, and friends. Sometimes being “selfish” means having time to be selfless most of the time.
How can you care for someone else when you have no energy to care for yourself? This cannot work forever, trust me, I have tried.