Case managers are strong, dedicated, and resilient. But in times like these, we all need to continue to cultivate resilience. That’s why I was so delighted about our most recent webinar, “7 Ways to Build Resilience—As a Person, As a Case Manager.”
The presenter, Dr. Chantrise Sims Holliman, was an inspiration, and I believe her words will be uplifting to those of us who have grown beleaguered, frustrated, and exhausted.
Resilience, she explains, is the ability to readily recover from illness, depression, anxiety, or any other manner of adversity. It is falling down and choosing to get back up.
She knows, and it makes her an expert. Yes, she’s an inspirational speaker. Yes, she has academic credentials. But most importantly, she’s been there. Two years ago, she survived what’s called a “widowmaker” heart attack. After coding nine times, she awoke to find herself partially paralyzed from the waist down and a bilateral, lower-limb amputee.
She made the conscious decision to take her life back.
As the title of the webinar indicates, she shared seven ways to cultivate resilience. I’m going to focus on two.
Know thyself: Be self-aware
Self-awareness is essential to cultivating resilience. Knowing and facing your fear is a major step to self-awareness. After all, she said, if you’re going, to be honest with anybody, you need to be honest with yourself.
We may not always like what we find. Dr. Holliman argues that we are our most authentic selves when all hell is breaking loose. That one’s tough for most people, but case managers understand it well.
Do you need to improve your self-awareness? She shared some tips:
- Identify your strengths and your weaknesses. You can then focus on what needs improvement.
- Reflect on your actions. Pay attention to how you respond to stressors. Look at how you make decisions. All of these can yield new insights.
- Seek feedback. When we don’t have an accurate view of ourselves, it’s really helpful—and super important—that we get honest feedback from people we trust.
I couldn’t agree with this more: “You can’t pour from an empty cup. Loving yourself allows you to love others better. If you can’t help yourself first, then you can’t help anybody else either.”
She calls on us to care for our minds, our bodies, our souls, and our spirits.
Some of her tips for doing this seem obvious, but ask yourself: Are you really following them?
- Caring for your body means drinking plenty of water and eating good, healthy food. It’s about tending to our physical needs.
- Caring for your mind, she says, involves putting your mind at ease. That can be reading a good book—or coloring one. “If you’ve never seen the adult coloring books, you need to find one,” she counsels. I’d like to add this: Caring for your mind means feeding it. Maybe it’s learning a second language, maybe it’s taking a class or maybe it’s listening to webinars in your field.
- To care for our soul and spirit, she says, we must choose to do things that protect our inner peace. For some, it’s prayer or meditation. For others, it’s quiet time in nature.
She offers two other pieces of self-care advice:
- Remember that “No” is a complete sentence. It requires no additional explanation.
- Take a vacation. Simply go away, and while you’re there, do only what it is that you want to do, even if that means you don’t do anything at all.
Self-care has been a focus for the Commission for years, and it now has an array of resources for self-care, including COVID-specific information and specifically CCMC’s new Push Pause series which are short motivational and inspirational clips. A good place to start is our curated list at ccmcertification.org/blog/understanding-enemy-curated-list-covid-19-resources-case-managers.
Resilient case managers
Among the many gems, I took away from Dr. Holliman’s presentation was this: Don’t focus on the situation, focus on your reaction to it. You have the power.
That’s an important message during the pandemic. You can’t control everything related to the coronavirus, but by taking charge of what you can, you move from fear and uncertainty to action. You practice resilience—making you stronger for your colleagues, clients, and family.
Guest post from Mary Beth Kurland, CAE, Chief Executive Officer, Commission for Case Manager Certification
MaryBeth Kurland leads and sets the Commission’s strategic mission and vision. She manages relationships with like-minded organizations and oversees business development as well as the Commission’s programs, products, and services. She works directly with the Board of Commissioners, building its corps of volunteer and subject-matter experts who directly support and evaluate certification and related services.
Prior to becoming CEO, Kurland served as the Commission’s chief operations officer and was the staff lead for the development and launch of the Commission’s signature conference, the CCMC New World Symposium®. Kurland brings extensive experience to her role, having served as executive director of organizations, including the Association of Medical Media, Office Business Center Association International and the League of Professional System Administrators.
She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Delaware and is a member of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence, the American Society of Association Executives, and the Mid-Atlantic Society of Association Executives. In 2011, Kurland was recognized as Association TRENDS Young & Aspiring Association Professional.