Nov 2, 2018
AT Self-Care: Part 2
Timothy Neal

Self-care is a critical element to performance and enjoyment of professional responsibilities and obligations for athletic trainers. What are some self-care measures athletic trainers can take to reduce and mange stress? Here are a few to consider:

– Get into a routine, even when busy. Having a daily routine helps manage stress.

– Workout regularly.

– Take time for yourself, even if for only a short period daily. Take a walk outside the workplace, run an errand, go out for lunch, or pursue a hobby.

– Proper hydration is necessary. Dehydration can cause one’s emotions to get out of control.

– Along the lines of hydration, proper diet and sleep are also vital. When one is dehydrated, hypoglycemic, and sleep deprived, stressors are magnified.

– Don’t abuse alcohol or drugs for any reason.

– Practice mindfulness. Simply being without distractions for even a few moments can help reduce stress.

– Practice gratitude. Though some circumstances are challenging, one can look at the totality of their life and be grateful for health, family, friends, and opportunities to practice athletic training and help patients. Though it may not seem like it at the time, thousands of people would love to trade their problems for yours.

– Talk to colleagues, friends, and family about your stress and plans on addressing it. Also, be a good listener to others as they discuss their stress. Oftentimes, merely being heard is all one needs to reduce their stress.

– Find humor in most situations, or watch/read funny shows or books.

– For many, spiritual strength is vital in getting through tough moments and days.

– Be kind to yourself. People make mistakes; people also experience a wide range of emotions on a daily and hourly basis. If feeling stressed, do not get stressed over it. Take action or come to terms with the transient stress, do the best you can, and remember it will pass.

– Know your resources in the workplace. Sometimes stress overwhelms people when they do not understand coping skills to effectively identify and manage their stress.

Athletic training is a great profession. The care athletic trainers provide makes a big difference in the lives of patients and competitive athletes.

However, athletic training is one of the “problem” professions in which anticipating, preventing, caring for, articulating, and rationalizing continuous problems in a highly charged environment such as competitive athletics provides many stressors. Learning that stress is a part of the profession and developing self-care measures to manage stress is important for a long and fulfilling athletic training career.

To read part 1 of this article, click here.

Timothy Neal, MS, AT, ATC, CCISM, is Assistant Professor and Program Director of Athletic Training Education at Concordia University Ann Arbor. Previously, he spent more than 30 years at Syracuse University, serving in a variety of sports medicine roles. Neal is also a member of the Ohio University Alumni Association Board of Directors. He can be reached at: [email protected].

Shop see all »

75 Applewood Drive, Suite A
P.O. Box 128
Sparta, MI 49345
website development by deyo designs
Interested in receiving the print or digital edition of Training & Conditioning?

Subscribe Today »

Be sure to check out our sister sites: