Self Care


It is stressful caring for suffering and dying patients, particularly when the healthcare system has its own challenges or interferes with getting access to care that your patients need. This can lead to compassion fatigue and burnout.

Stay connected: strong relationships with family, friends, colleagues offer sense of belonging/support.

  • stay focused: remind yourself why you became a healthcare professional, what motivates you to keep going.
  • live healthy: healthy food, adequate sleep, regular exercise and time away from work.
  • self-awareness: monitor your emotions when working. Healthcare professionals more prone to depression and anxiety than general population. It is the right thing to do to ask for professional help or to lean on family, friends, or colleagues for support.
  • stay organized: organize professional life so not over-committed/overwhelmed or neglecting your personal health and relationships

Strategies for managing stress

  1. Mindfulness during work: slow deep breathing, think of a loved one, pray, or imagine you are in a favorite place
  2. Mindfulness during work: as you walk outside take time to notice something in nature; fully attend to it for a few moments
  3. Connect with patients, families, or colleagues; through humor or notice something about the other person or their environment
  4. Deliberately shed your role when you leave work; do not take it home with you
  5. Form a team to care for suffering people. With “team approach,” members support each other
  6. Know your limits. Recognize difficult patient situation with family dysfunction, mental illness, or refractory symptoms—cases where optimal outcomes rare, no matter how hard you try
  7. Use challenging situations to motivate yourself to learn new knowledge, skills, attitudes
  8. Do what relieves stress – exercise, time with friends, sports, hobbies
  9. Write about experience and your feelings
  10. Meditation
  11. Have a special place you like to visit as a “getaway”