SMAAP: Holding (by Amy Rettig)
If you aren’t sure what self-care behaviors you need to do to meet your own needs . . . [it] may mean actually writing down the things you need to do each day, starting in the morning, like use the bathroom, brush your teeth, make your bed, eat breakfast, etc. Then, you can build from there. “You might only get the first one or two things done in a day, but with time the goal is to do more,” he says. Ken Yeager, PhD quoted in SELF magazine
We care for complex patients. We are asked to lift up, affirm, dignify what the patient and family teach us. We meet our patients where they are at – sometimes that means that all they can focus on is “using the bathroom, brushing teeth, making a bed, etc.” We dignify every stage of our patient’s journey with a steady and nonjudgmental presence. We hold our patients by bearing witness and walking with them.
To do that we must also hold ourselves. In a blog post in January 2017, Mary Koloroutis wrote:
May you be curious, open, accepting and loving.
May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you remember that endless possibilities are born when you are attuned and authentic in your connection with others.
May you know that your compassion for others begins with compassion for yourself.
May you experience both great challenge and great joy in your relationships with those in your care.
May you wonder about, follow, and hold those in your care with mindful devotion.
May you be a compassionate witness, an instrument of healing, and a carrier of hope for those who have little of their own.
Most of all, may you remember that at all times and in all places, to be your authentic self and to know that you are enough just as you are.
We are compassionate witnesses. Everyday.