New Year's Resolutions for the Home Healthcare Professional

By Katie Gilbert

Home healthcare professionals are an often overlooked sector when it comes to thinking about New Year's resolutions. You may hear a lot of ideas that revolve around working in a facility or the same old stuff about losing weight. Just what resolutions would be the most beneficial to someone that works in one of the most stressful, yet rewarding jobs out there? Let's take a look at what's really doable.

Quit Smoking

Yes, you really can quit smoking. The first few days might feel like the worst ever, but every minute spent without putting smoke into your body is important. You may want to quit smoking now and don't know what to do.

Cold turkey (quitting without aids) works for some people. Patches for others. One of the best methods or long term smoking cessation has been the off-label use of Wellbutrin (buproprion). This anti-depressant is a dopamine stimulant; it basically causes your body to release the same feel good chemicals that nicotine does without the health effects. Some users of this method have only needed to take the drug for a week or so.

Talk to your physician about any medication you'd like to try only he or she can tell you if the drug is right for you.

Manage Stress

If there is one resolution every home health professional should make and keep, it's to reduce their stress levels. Your job is demanding. Home life may be demanding as well. There's many methods to managing stress. Exercise, aromatherapy, counseling, and possibly medication.

Other parts of your life are probably contributing to your stress which means that it's smart to make resolutions to deal with those. Smoking, finances, health, and relationships are some of the top ranking reasons that people are stressed out.

Eat Healthy

A healthy diet is key to a healthy body. Your food is fuel — you wouldn't put watered down gas into your car, would you? No, because it would sputter, stall, and eventually break down. The human body is the same, put junk in and you'll get nothing but junk out. Make a food diary — you can download mobile apps to help you keep a record of what you eat on the go or at work. Don't grab fast food on the way to a client. Carry snacks or lunches you make instead.

Go Back to School

Whether you're a home health aide, LPN, or RN, it's never too late to go back to school. Every year there are changes in the way healthcare is provided. Keeping up with the changes keeps you in the loop and also makes you more desirable as an employee. If you're working private duty, you stand a better chance of being hired by the best companies. Your clients will value your knowledge, knowing that you know exactly what you're doing, not to mention that you care enough about your career to learn everything you possibly can.

There are other resolutions that you can come up with on your own. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't keep them. All it takes is a little work and a lot of determination to change your life for the better, one resolution at a time.

For more help meeting to meet your New Year's resolutions, check out our Caregiver Toolkit. Access this resource along with our other FREE resources by finding a Caring location near you.