March 16, 2021


Drug Topics®: Hello, I'm Gabrielle Ientile with Drug Topics®. Today I'm speaking with Patrick Bordnick, dean of the Tulane University School of Social Work. He's going to be talking about the resources that the university has been offering for healthcare professionals and anyone else who is interested in prioritizing self-care amid the pandemic.

Dean Bordnick will be walking us through the website and showing us some of the really incredible resources that they're offering.

Bordnick: So, one of the things that we really want to make sure as healthcare professionals - whether you're a doctor, nurse, an allied health professional a social worker, psychologist - is to make sure we're all still practicing self-care.

We are still in the middle of a pandemic and taking time to take care of yourself will allow you to be present and actually take care of others. One thing that people often say is, I'm so busy, we're vaccinating - if you're doing injections, 5 or 6 hours a day, we can't stop. It's important that it becomes part of your routine and it's not an add on for your self-care.

So, what I say is, look for resources. The School of Social Work at Tulane, we have a website. And literally all you need is 5 minutes or you can do an hour or 2. But we have a lot of mindfulness videos that are guided mindfulness sessions that you can do on your cell phone.

Stop and take a break, while you're performing whatever duties whenever you have time, that is going to allow you to be a much more effective professional, because you're taking care of your needs that will help you take care of the needs of others.

We encourage people to do it every day, but then again, I don't want it to become burdensome. Self-care shouldn't become this thing of, “well, I have to do my self-care.” Because then it becomes another task or another chore that one has to do, and it loses its intent. You really have to plan and think about, I'm going to do this intentionally for my richness, my soul, my feelings, my mental health, that allow me to be present for others. Taking care of ourselves, and it doesn't matter who you are.

Our self-care website has resources. It started off for frontline professionals, but we really expanded it for everyone. There are resources for children, parents, families, individuals, it's really become a hub of curated resources.

I have my own form of self-care that, when I tell people they either stare or give me looks. But when I explain it, hopefully it makes sense. I run. I run about 2 to 3 miles several times a week. And people say,”Aren't you exhausted? How is that self-care?” I say yes to both of those, but what I usually end up doing is I'm listening to music. And it gives me a half an hour mental break that I'm just listening to music.

And yes, I'm exercising, but I'm not really concentrating on that. I'm just checking out and letting my mind wander and enjoying the music and being out in nature. And a lot of times I'll run with my daughters. Usually, I'm running behind them because they're their top level runners, so I'm kind of hobbling in the background. But again, it's spending time with them, it's disengaging from the daily work task that we all do or worrying about the pandemic or being concerned about things - giving ourselves that mental break.

Running may not be for everyone, so we really tried to look at there's some people may do yoga, some people may choose mindfulness, others may do - there's resources out there for coloring, we've seen a lot of things for coloring and colored pencils, where you do these very intricate drawings or just shading in things.

There are resources available. And it's not just for kids, that activity for an adult, just coloring, you're doing something intentionally, that gives yourself a mental and physical break, which is really the essence of self-care.

Where we're at right now is the main page for the self-care website. And to give people an idea just how to navigate from what's available, we really tried to make it so within 1 or 2 clicks, you can be practicing some sort of self-care.

If you go under meditation, you'll see you're automatically right in the page that has several mindfulness videos and self-guided meditations and each one will give you a little bit of time.

If you have 12 minutes if you have 15, if you have 10 minutes, you can be guided through a mindfulness session, or a sound meditation or a body scan to really give you that sort of self-care practice.

As you go through the other items, mindfulness is maybe not something you enjoy, we have ways to get moving, which are kind of cool. You can go virtual or get some self-care by being out in nature. This is a literally a website that you just look through and you can put in whatever your zip code is, and all of a sudden, it will show you a list of walking trails with a map and things to see in your particular zip code. You don't have to go a bunch of different places to find them.

One of my favorites is we don't often think about self-care indulging our interests. And that's really what we want to do. We have one of the links is indulge. And we have, if art is something you're interested in, you can visit over 2000 virtual museums, so go around the world to our famous landmarks.

This is a tour of Frank Lloyd Wright houses, also a little bit of Botanical Gardens. And we're in winter across the country right now, so maybe seeing some blooming flowers in Botanical Gardens may give you that 5 or 10 minutes. Or if you get lost and you want to explore for an hour of music – obviously, in New Orleans it's a central part of music, food and the culture in New Orleans, but across the country and around the world, too.

We have a link for live streams, virtual game calendars, movies, again, you can stream free movies from the library card. We have some links to the Tulane digital library and audio books.

One of the unique things is, during the pandemic, we reached out to several different types of artists and musicians. They actually provided just brief videos talking about what they're doing for self-care. We've got virtual reality artists here, where you can go through their paintings of Terrance Osborne is an internationally known artist and he talks about his painting “Front Line,” which has been in the media to honor front line professionals during the pandemic.

But there's really something for everyone. We even have Prescription Joy, which is a local group of medical clowns. They kind of provide a thing regarding “wash your hands” and everything. So adults, children, families and individuals can really take advantage.

And the main thing to remember is self-care should be something that you intentionally do that doesn't become, hey, I have to do this it becomes another daily chore. It's really something to allow you to practice, to take care of your own mental and physical needs, to allow you to be present for others.

Drug Topics®: Thanks for watching. For more expert interviews, visit DrugTopics.com.