SpeechPathology.com Phone: 800-242-5183


Therapy Source Career Center - June 2019

Quick Mindfulness and Self-Care Exercises for Healthcare Professionals

Nicole Steward, MSW, RYT

May 15, 2020

Share:

Question

Are there any quick mindfulness and self-care breathing exercises for healthcare professionals?

 

Answer

As humans, we tend to ruminate on the past, or project into the future. Being in the present is very difficult for us. A reptile or a mammal has to be in the present to survive; they have to be constantly assessing the threat. For humans, we no longer have to do that, we do not have to be in the present moment. We can ruminate on the past, project into the future, and still survive. Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present at the moment; noticing your thoughts and letting them go without any judgment. Mindfulness is a practice which is similar to meditation. This is very important in the healthcare professions as patients come to us in distress or with a problem. They come to us seeking help or healing.

Moving the body and breath at the same time helps ground our brainstem (e.g., primitive brain), and allows us to pull into our cortex (e.g., thinking brain). This stimulates our body into a rhythm that allows us to calm down and to be in the present moment. Below are a few breathing exercises that can be used on your own as self-care and can be shared with those that you serve and work with.

Mindful Movement

Take 5 Breath. This breathing exercise is very simple. Take your hand, with your other index finger start tracing at the base of the thumb. Inhale up the thumb and exhale down. Inhale up the index finger and exhale down. Inhale up the middle finger and exhale down. Inhale up the ring finger and exhale down. Then inhale up the pinky finger and exhale down. You can put your hand on your chest, lap or in your pocket, and just feel your fingers.

Elevator Breath.  Inhale, bringing your shoulders all the way up to your ears, and on the exhale let it drop. Repeat.

Lions Breath. A fun breathing exercise that everyone enjoys because you might look silly doing it. With both feet flat on the floor and hands on top of the thighs, we are going to take a nice deep inhale through the nose, and on the exhale, we are going to stick our tongue out as far as we can and roar like a lion. Repeat the exercise. Sticking the tongue out of the mouth allows the jaw to relax just a little bit.

Birthday cake breath. Imagine your birthday cake, try to picture what kind of cake it is (i.e., vanilla, chocolate, etc.). Then take a nice deep inhale and on the exhale blow out the candles nice and slow. Repeat.

This Ask the Expert is an excerpt from the webinar, Stress, Trauma, and Mindfulness: Self-Care for Healthcare Professionals.


nicole steward

Nicole Steward, MSW, RYT

Nicole Steward is a social worker and registered yoga teacher (RYT) with a focus on community engagement, public education, foster youth advocacy, and trauma-informed yoga.  With more than a decade of social work practice in non-profits and K-12 education, Nicole has noticed the need for radical self-care to discharge toxic stress we absorb through our work. This awareness drives her to study trauma as well as the ways yoga and mindfulness affect our brains and bodies, keeping us engaged and renewed. Nicole teaches yoga, mindfulness, and offers self-care workshops and retreats. Nicole believes self-care is a way of being we must adopt if we are to sustain ourselves as service providers, educators  and  human beings.


Related Courses

Understanding Trauma
Presented by Nicole Steward, MSW, RYT
Video

Presenter

Nicole Steward, MSW, RYT
Course: #1033842Level: Intermediate2 Hours
  'Informative and helpful'   Read Reviews
Trauma is an ever-present reality in today’s world that is showing up more and more in the workplace. The different types of trauma, their impacts on the nervous system, and trauma triggers are described in this course. Strategies that clinicians can use to improve self-regulation and resilience are also discussed.

Stress, Trauma and Mindfulness: Self-Care for Healthcare Professionals
Presented by Nicole Steward, MSW, RYT
Video

Presenter

Nicole Steward, MSW, RYT
Course: #8583Level: Introductory1 Hour
  'This was a great presentation and the topic should be mandatory, in my opinion'   Read Reviews
In order to treat the whole patient, we need an understanding of how stress and trauma impacts their treatment, as well as the importance of self-care to keep us sustained. Participants will be able to identify rising levels of stress, understand trauma, and employ self-care tools to bring them back to effectiveness and wholeness.

20Q: Infection Control Strategies for SLPs
Presented by A.U. Bankaitis Smith, PhD
Text

Presenter

A.U. Bankaitis Smith, PhD
Course: #9729Level: Intermediate1 Hour
  'Clarification of COVID precautionary information'   Read Reviews
Speech-language pathologists are expected by policy authorities to apply appropriate measures to protect patients, co-workers and themselves in clinical situations that may expose individuals to infectious microbes. This article provides practical guidelines for implementing infection control principles within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, including discussion of personal protective equipment (PPE) and disinfecting and cleaning products.

Understanding Mental Health in Older Adults
Presented by Gabrielle Juliano-Villani, LCSW
Video

Presenter

Gabrielle Juliano-Villani, LCSW
Course: #10246Level: Introductory1 Hour
  'very informative and interesting information'   Read Reviews
Mental health issues concerning older adults are discussed in this course. Topics include the intersection between mental and physical health, symptoms of common mental health disorders in this population, and referral criteria.

Social Work with Adults: An Overview for SLPs
Presented by Gabrielle Juliano-Villani, LCSW
Video

Presenter

Gabrielle Juliano-Villani, LCSW
Course: #10003Level: Introductory1 Hour
  'Gave great examples'   Read Reviews
This course provides an overview of social work as a profession, including the different settings and roles in which social workers are employed. It discusses best practices for how SLPs can collaborate with social workers when working with adult clients.

Our site uses cookies to improve your experience. By using our site, you agree to our Privacy Policy.