Written by: Ashley Chen
Ashley is a member of the Class of 2021 and is the District 7 Wellness Coordinator for the 2018-19 school year.
Health Professionals spend so much time taking care of others, it’s about time that the focus on our own self-care has become a trend. I’m all for it! It’s treat yo’self time.
We spend most of our days in a chair, holding the same seated position. It’s important to have preventive exercises for neck and back pain. Good ways to battle future musculoskeletal problems is through strength training, stretches, and aerobic exercises. Some good strength training exercises to do between classes and seeing patients include lunge with torso rotation, wall sits, and planks.
An assisted back bend helps stretch the back and open the shoulders. Once you’re home after a long day, a cobra stretch does wonders! Simply lying on your back with your glutes touching the wall and your legs straight in the air (at 90 degrees to your back) has its benefits.
Nutrition also has a significant effect on our health, including influencing energy levels, immunity, and longevity. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and think clearly. I like carrying a water bottle with me from class to class and leaving it on my desk. It reminds me to take sips! If you’re feeling sluggish in the afternoon, try skipping the candy fix and taking a 5-minute walk for a sip of water. It will clear your head get the blood flowing.
"Health” means so much more than physical well-being. It incorporates mental health as well. Take some time out of your day to meditate, read, or whatever it is that helps you relax and unwind. Yes, you are swamped with schoolwork and exams. Yes, you have to deal with preparing for your upcoming patients. Sacrificing that much-needed “me time” will build up and can leave you stressed, unhappy, and unmotivated.
At the end of the day, remember that in order for you to continue your rewarding career as a health professional, YOUR health comes first!