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What can you do to take care of YOU today?

We are all busy and taking time to care for ourselves is often not high on our priority list. Many of us have chosen a profession and field where we are highly skilled at taking care of others. We care deeply about others and want the best for them. Sometimes this comes at the expense of taking care of our self. How do we even know where to begin to care for our own emotional and physical wellbeing?

Practice self-care – Do we even have time for one more item on our To Do List?

The importance of taking care of our own wellbeing, especially for those of us working in the helping professions, has gained national consideration as of late. The conversation is focused around the Quadruple Aim as introduced by The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI).

This idea began with the concept and framework of the Triple Aim. The term “Triple Aim” is a single aim with three dimensions that refers to the simultaneous pursuit of improving the patient experience of care, improving the health of populations, and reducing the per capita cost of health care. The IHI Triple Aim framework was developed in 2007 by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The Triple Aim is widely accepted as a compass to optimize health system performance. Yet members of the health care team report widespread burnout, dissatisfaction and the loss of joy in the work so many of us feel called to do. This loss of joy in work is associated with lower patient/client satisfaction, reduced health outcomes, and it may increase costs. This dissatisfaction can breakdown the intention of the Triple Aim.

Currently, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Triple Aim has been expanded to a Quadruple Aim, which includes the addition of care team wellbeing and improved practitioner experience.

Wellbeing can and does include many areas: effective interprofessional collaborative practice and team-based care. It can also include individuals practicing self-care; being aware and taking action to keep themselves healthy and well. This is something we can begin to address now, and not wait for health systems or organizations to make changes.

Actions for us to consider:

  • Getting adequate and regular sleep
  • Hydrating with healthy fluids: drink water, water and more water
  • Choosing nutrient rich foods: fruits, vegetables and nuts
  • Minimizing sugar laden foods: candy, soda, sweetened coffees, cookies, cakes, donuts, and desserts
  • Packing and bringing healthy foods as snacks and meals with you to work
  • Saying “no” to activities and demands when you can, especially during periods of concentrated work demands
  • Minimizing clutter: work space, car, home, garage, closets, electronic devices
  • Asking for help, whether it is child care, elder care, grocery shopping, cleaning, hosting events. Let others help
  • Getting fresh air. Nature has a calming effect
  • Daily movement in terms of walking (especially if you sit a great deal), stretching, adding endurance fitness into your life
  • Minimizing watching television mindlessly. Turn off the T.V.
  • Practicing some type of calming and stillness activity: prayer, yoga, meditation, being in nature, reading, listening to music

These action items are not new for us. The challenge is making the decision to do something different. To add or maintain one of these actions.

What is one area and one action you can begin to implement in YOUR LIFE TODAY?
What is one area, one action that you can commit to?
How would your life be different?
What do you need to do to begin today?

Tranform Conversations. Transform Lives.
Dr. Becky Lang

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“Dr. Lang’s training provided me with a better understanding of the motivational interviewing process. The skills I learned from her training have helped me feel more engaged and thoughtful when listening and talking with those around me. Dr. Lang is energetic, knowledgeable, passionate and provides a great learning environment.”

Nancy AdrianseBSDH, Oral Health Manager, Iowa Primary Care Association

“The training I received in Becky’s motivational interviewing class was invaluable. It laid a wonderful foundation for me to effectively empower my patients to develop and implement positive changes for their health. Becky created such a nurturing, nonthreatening environment that allowed me to freely learn and practice. This is certainly a class I can recommend to anyone wanting to learn to assist others with behavior changes.”

Robin GeorgeRN, Motivational Interviewing training participant

“At the YMCA, we have worked with Dr. Becky Lang for over a decade now to help us shift and shape our culture. As an organization committed to strengthening our community, the coaching and training skills that Dr. Lang has provided have helped us immensely. With her education and guidance she has helped us establish a culture that focuses on building meaningful relationships with our members, focusing on their needs, and coaching them towards success in their pursuit of a healthy lifestyle. Dr. Lang has trained all levels of our staff from our front line Wellness Coaches to our Executive Directors and Leadership Teams. Her on-going support has allowed the coaching-culture to come alive in our organization.”

Kim Stewart Kim Stewart Director of Operations, YMCA of Greater Des Moines

“The training Becky provided has been one of the most rewarding nursing experience I have had in 30 years. The style of interviewing and teaching patients is rewarding and positive. Her techniques drive the sessions to be more personal and patient-centered. Through Becky’s teaching, I was comfortable to practice and get familiar with the motivational interviewing process. Becky is an exceptional trainer and I recommend her training to all health coaches and educators.”

Sandy LovelessRN, Motivational Interviewing training participant

“The motivational interviewing techniques Becky teaches allow patients to set goals and work toward changes that are important to them. Patients feel in control of their own health and allow me to be in a more supportive roll. Becky has a positive and uplifting spirit that makes her classes extremely enjoyable.”

Tyra CarltonRN, Motivational Interviewing training participant

“Rebecca Lang was a respected colleague who diligently served as a teacher and mentor to hundreds of students over her long career at Grand View University. I had the distinct pleasure to work with Becky and regularly witness her vocation to Wellness education. She motivates those around her by a strong and genuine commitment to a lifestyle which promotes health and well-being.”

Katharina TumpekPhD, Professor and former Chair, Dept. of Health Promotions, Grand View University

“It has been a pleasure to work with Becky Lang over the last 25 years. Within a variety of contexts in the wellness arena, I have witnessed Dr. Lang’s mastery as a wellness educator, a health coach, a professor, and, most recently, as a health coaching trainer. I could go on at length about Dr. Lang’s passion, enthusiasm, high energy, wisdom, and deep knowledge in health promotion and behavior change. One of the attributes that impresses me most, though, is her ability to create a relaxed, fun, interactive, and content-rich training environment. Her refreshingly supportive, inviting, and empathic style of training and coaching allows learners to take risks, experiment, try on new skills, and participate authentically in role play exercises without feeling awkward and intimidated. Through Dr. Lang’s coaching and training, people learn–often more than they imagined.”

Jill NorrisRN, MPH, PCMH-CCE, Director, Care Management, University of Iowa Health Alliance