Burnout Safeguards: “Name It”
As the world plays catch up after a pandemic, caregivers are playing catch up in their souls. So SafeDose has been offering some self-care tips for medical professionals. One simple but effective method is “Name It to Tame It.”
Imagine a scene many caregivers have been in. You’ve just come from treating one individual who is suffering. One of your co-workers quit this week and hasn’t been replaced. Another called in sick. Two more individuals urgently need your attention, and a manager is asking you for something.
Perhaps just in reading this you already can feel your heart beating a little faster!
What if you took a moment to recognize and then say what you are feeling? “Fear, Sadness, Irritation.” You might think this would have no effect, but studies show that it does.
“Affect Labeling” is taking your feelings and giving them words. Scientists have traced the brain activity triggered by doing so. Our amygdala is the seat of emotions and reactivity. They found that labeling emotions moved brain activity from the amygdala to the prefrontal cortex. In non-scientific terms, it caused less “freak-out.” Would you like to have a little less freak-out?
Dr. Dan Siegel, a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine, named this method “Name It to Tame It.”
So maybe this week will be stress-free?! But just in case not, give it a try.