A checklist to practice what you preach
Do you ever find yourself wincing as you counsel a patient, when your conscience says, “Hey, practice what you preach!”
It’s not a comfortable feeling, and it doesn’t make your job any easier. It’s a lot simpler to help your patients if you can fully stand behind what you’re suggesting. As the saying goes, “put on your own mask before helping others.” You can’t care for others without first caring for yourself!
Can you add any of these simple tips to your to-do list this week?
- Protect. Wear sunblock. Don a hat. Cover your skin with long sleeves and pants. Your family, your friends, your patients and those around you will learn from your good example - you’ll not only keep your own skin healthy, but theirs too!
- Check. Your patients should have whole-body checks at least annually for any questionable moles or lesions, and so should you - along with regular spot checks and monitoring of any suspicious spots.
- Nourish. You know skin health comes from the inside out! Eat well and hydrate for not only glowing skin, but better sleep, more energy, and a balanced mood.
- Rest. Don’t see patients when you’re unwell, and don’t run yourself into the ground. Get enough sleep and you’ll have far more energy and ability every day!
- Avoid unhealthy behaviors. Smoking, drinking to excess, stressing out… we develop coping mechanisms to handle what life throws us, but some can make things worse. It’s hard to break a bad habit, but it’s easier today than it will be tomorrow!
- Cultivate a healthy self-image. We need to watch what we surround ourselves with. If you notice that you feeling down about yourself after you spend time with certain magazines, television, social media, or people — even patients (!), re-evaluate whether they’re truly good for you!
- Get help. How do you feel when you get a new patient who suffered from a skin condition but had been too embarrassed to come for help? Sad that they waited so long, frustrated that you couldn’t have helped them sooner? Don’t do this to yourself. Give your physical and mental health the highest priority to stay in the best shape you can.