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Hey Rehabilitation Pros! How Did You Spend Your Quarantine?

Nothing’s changed, but yet, on some level, everything has changed.  I feel like I’m in a spaceship where at any moment, a leak or breach in the hull could be catastrophic. It’s a very bizarre feeling, which I know everyone is sharing to one degree or another.

We asked how you were dealing with the Covid-19 crisis. Thank you for your responses!

What was made clear by the 90+ responses we received was the initial fear of the pandemic, followed by a sort of calm - an acceptance of the situation. We re-aligned ourselves to a new normal, spending more time with family and friends (both those with whom we live, and via virtual connections), embraced hobbies we love (both old and new), focused on self care, and we created a new sense of community in the physiotherapy world. We embraced online learning, and have many new skills to use, both in clinics, and during virtual visits. Instead of focusing on what was lost, we saw the opportunity to build new skills, re-evaluate our businesses and routines, and are ready to come out the other side stronger. 

Take a look at some of the responses below to see how your fellow therapists have been dealing with self-quarantine. The top 5 responses will receive an email from us for an online course of their choice on Embodia (up to $150 value each!).

 

How Physiotherapists Spent the COVID-19 Quarantine

 

Keeping Busy

First up, this response speaks to both enjoying activities and hobbies that we may not otherwise have time to enjoy. This sentiment was echoed throughout many of the responses. 

“I've been focusing on my favorite hobbies so far! I picked up knitting and crocheting around Christmas and during quarantine I've made a couple blankets and potholders for friends/family! I've also learned a couple new songs on the ukulele.

To keep my physio brain sane I try to attend a webinar of some sort every other day, test out new exercises on myself or my family and watch a ton of exercise YouTube videos for inspiration :) I never want to stop growing and learning new things!”  - Kelsey Ling

Never stop learning! We agree. We have many free courses including 6 Skills in 6 Weeks, which is our most popular free course of all time, or, if you prefer live online events, here's a list of all of our upcoming live webinars.

 

Self Care

This response spoke to overcoming a feeling we all have at some point: exhaustion.

“Quarantine has actually been a well-needed rest and reset for me. It showed me how exhausted I had become. It gave me the space I need to rethink my future - as well as my present. I am spending desperately needed time with my family. I am spending time with myself. I ran a virtual half-marathon. I took care of the many loose ends on a long list of to-do’s.

I learned how to do telehealth. And then I DID telehealth. Lastly, in the middle of some crazy times in this universe, the physical therapy world proved its humanity to me. I am so grateful to Embodia for helping to make that possible.” - Valerie Turner

Feeling exhausted and burnt out is a feeling that all healthcare professionals feel at one time or another. We spend so much time focusing on taking care of others, it is often hard to find time to take care of ourselves! Taking the time to focus on you and your future, checking things off the to-do list, and trying new things, are all great ways to recharge. 

For those of you who are great about promoting self-care for your patients, but are not so great at taking the time for yourself, try our course “Practitioner Self Care during challenging times”. 

 

Sharing and Learning 

This response shows what happens when you take a motivated therapist and give them some free time on their hands! We don’t sit on the couch and watch Netflix (not that there’s anything wrong with that!).  Sharing information is a great way to stay in touch with your patients, and keep your brain active! 

“I have always wanted to share more of what I learned over my many years as a therapist, so I decided to do zoom calls. I shared information on herbology, homeopathy, nutrition from a functional medicine point of view, various types of breath work in sitting and with movement, a ball class to lengthen the spine and for pain, relaxing the vagus nerve with eye movements, EFT, meditations, building resilience during COVID-19, staying calm and peaceful were some of the topics I shared.

I spend a lot of time on webinars learning about telerehab which I then began with my clients. Many have accepted this platform well.

I am also began to finish a course and write a course, still in fruition.

Each day I exercise with my daughter in my basement gym space lol where we laugh a lot. Mainly she laughs at me because of my funny antics.

I also meditate most days.

How much can you spring clean and then just clean your house.

I have also kept in touch with family and friends and colleagues as much as possible for sanity and connection.

I have not yet created anything to share but hopefully soon.

I am grateful for Embodia and Maggie's team for all of their assistance, guidance, support, and wonderful webinars to help me understand how to do telerehab well.”

Thank you - Rosemarie Lynett

If you haven’t tried Telerehabilitation on Embodia yet, give it a go! It is included in your membership, and a great way to stay in touch with clients, and share information. You can learn more here.

 

Maintaining a Healthy Attitude

Here is a great example of taking negatives and turning them into positives. Embracing opportunities to learn makes for a great and relevant therapist. Being able to get past initial disappointment to look forward to the future shows a great attitude towards life. Attitude is everything! 

As a new grad, I used this opportunity to take part in courses and conferences. One of my favourites was the vestibular summit - I had a concussion in the past and was able to learn more about how that may have had an impact on my vestibular system. The conference really peaked my interest and I began to see a vestibular therapist virtually! I was happy to put efforts toward self care, especially while I had some time. Physios can see physios too! (Who would have thought haha.)

My plan moving forward is to find more courses that focus toward my specialization, clinical Pilates. I hope to continue to use the time I have to learn even more about the Pilates method and how I can continue to develop my practice.

Outside of the profession, I am a “Covid Bride” in that I had to postpone my wedding until next year. While initially disappointed, I’m using this time to continue to plan for next year and have begun some DIY projects for the big day. Hopefully 2021 will be smooth sailing!” - Allison Yu

Learning ✓

Self-care ✓

Projects ✓

Planning ✓

 

…..see a pattern here!? 

 

Being Creative 

What a time to get creative! Even when faced with additional challenges, using your creativity can be a way to express your feelings and connect with others who might be having difficulty expressing theirs. 

"Creativity doesn't wait for that perfect moment. It fashions its own perfect moments out of ordinary ones" - Bruce Garrabrandt

"A Poem to sum up my COVID QUARANTINE time:

Creativity was my aim,

Old coals igniting to a writer's flame,

Verify the ideas inside,

Inspire purpose in a changing tide,

Drawing meaning when nothings the same.

Quest to explore my inner yearning, 

Unopened doors to apply new learning, 

A sense deep inside, 

Rousing me to no longer hide,

Allow my voice to reach hearts that are churning.

New ways to approach my own need,

Tricky concussion scattering its seed,

Insisting on patience and plenty of sleep,

Nausea pain and a cognitive heap,

Ensuring COVID QUARANTINE was memorable indeed" 

- Renee Clark

 

Congrats to the top 5 responses! We will contact you with a coupon code for your use on Embodia Academy! 

 

Honourable Mentions

 

Supporting our Patients

Patient-centered care is just as important now as it always has been. Taking the time to check in with your patients, knowing that everyone is struggling and may need some additional social support, can be just as valuable to patients health as prescribing exercises.  

“The past couple of months have surprised me with how quickly things can change! With new information always coming in, things have evolved rapidly from day to day.

Through it all, I have still been able to come to work at my local hospital, even though work looks different than what I am used to. A positive change is that I have been able to complete a couple of online courses! I love being able to learn, grow, and develop an understanding of something new. And, instead of seeing out-patients face-to-face, I have adapted to video calls and telephone appointments. It has given me a new perspective and experience with other ways to serve people at this time. Fortunately, I am able to see my in-patients on a daily basis still. It hit me hard the other day when I really understood that these patients' only "visitors" right now are the hospital staff, due to visiting restrictions. I believe our patients need us now more than ever, as we are literally the only ones allowed to come into the building and spend time with them each day.

Aside from work, I have been doing more of the things I enjoy - and at a slower pace. Normally at this time of year I would be run off my feet with my kids' soccer, school, etc. Although I do miss these activities, I have been spending more time going for walks, planting flowers, playing the piano, and painting. It's been nice to step back and contemplate the important things in life, and appreciate the time we get to spend together with family.” - Kari Heninger

While it is important to develop our practical skills as a therapist, it is also important to work on our other skills, such as communication and empathy. If you are interested in improving your interpersonal skills, try the course How to Develop Communication, Empathy, and Power Skills to Optimize Patient Outcomes.

Adjusting to Change

It’s okay to have a tough time. Adjusting to change is hard, especially when it is such a big, sudden, and scary change! Missing your normal life, and all the important things in it, seems to be a feeling all of us have. Accepting the new normal, and finding ways to connect with what we miss, is a great way to feel grateful for what we do have and get motivated!

“Not gonna lie... it was a ROUGH TIME at the beginning of my self-quarantine. I had just come back to Toronto from a 'fun' trip to the UK, which quickly turned into a nightmare when we had returned and were mandated to self-isolate for 14 days.

In the background, for months I had been working on a virtual pelvic health physiotherapy business (IG: @PelvicPro) with a colleague so I had some experience with virtual appointments and asked many of my existing clients if they would like to switchover to virtual care. Nearly everyone declined except for a small handful. The thing I miss the most during the quarantine is seeing my typical caseload of clients and the routine of waking up, putting my athleisure outfit on, picking up a coffee, and heading to the most incredible job in the world! I also miss my FAMILY A LOOOOOOT!

Here is a list of what kept me productive during the self-quarantine:

1) Embodia PT Webinars! (I swear this isn’t sponsored lol) Maggie and the Embodia team have been so quick to pivot their online content and resources (ie. zoom health, Telerehab Booking system) to support us physiotherapists. It was nice to see that many of my physio colleagues had the same questions and concerns that I had.

2) Zoom Workouts with my coworkers. As much as I drag my heels getting ready for these living room workouts in my 600 sq ft apartment, I always feel refreshed and clear-headed when the workout is complete.

3) Bullet Journaling! I’ve gotten back into creating weekly spreads of most important tasks of the day, when I have webinars, when my workouts are, when I have clients, work meetings, and when I should be working on building an online business. I’ve also created a gratitude section to remind myself of the little or big things that I am grateful for.

4) My amazing Fiancé and baby on the way (I get kicked now :D) keep me happy and hopeful!

5) My passion to help others with pelvic health concerns keeps me going… despite us living through a global pandemic…that doesn’t change the fact that there are people out there still suffering in silence with pelvic health issues. This keeps me motivated to create content, spread the word, and continue to build a brand with like-minded practitioners to be pelvic health physio superheroes!” 

- JJ Bai

Did you know our entire PT Together webinar series has been recorded for your viewing pleasure? You can find all the episodes here, or search 'PT Together' under Embodia Academy. 

 

Making New Plans

Plans are great! Until they aren’t… and we need to readjust. Being able to take a step back, reassess, and create a new plan is an important life skill, and one that we have all had to master. And sometimes a new plan can be just what we need to learn and grow. 

“I was beyond scared when they announced that my kid's school would be closed for the rest of the year. I had just spent time working on a whole self-care plan for myself, even changing around my work schedule that I was literally supposed to start the week that their school turned virtual. One of those "man plans, God laughs" situations. I was also worried for my business as I had only started it a bit ago as a side hustle, had no new clients lined up, and just when I was hoping to start to market, the markets all shut down.

The first couple weeks were a struggle, no schedule for the kids, no clients, but then survival of the fittest kicked in. I knew if I wanted to survive this time I needed to reassess and plan. I reworked a self-care plan that gave me the headspace and mindset to create a daily routine for my kids. I rebranded my business, created an actual business plan with my ideal client base, created social media accounts and started putting out content, and I've also been working on a couple courses. I now don't look at this time as terrifying, but as a time of opportunity.

I now really cherish the times I get to spend with my kids, though I won't deny that I occasionally (being the key word here) hide out in the bathroom or call SOS to my husband. I have a morning routine of meditation and yoga to set the day off in the right way and practice mindfulness before bed. I have a small, but engaged facebook group with my ideal clients, and I'm actually learning how to use Instagram. "Instagram for dummies" may or may not be in my search history. I think the encouragement of the healthcare world has been so inspiring and I hope that I look back on these past couple months as a time of growth rather than stagnancy". - Aliza Ancier

 

Focusing on Healthy Routines

Here is someone who is taking full advantage of their time, and loving it! It sounds like they are taking great care of themselves, and will be ready to attack whatever comes next with gusto!

“Better sleep. Healthier food choices. Deeper thinking. More mindful movement. Commitment to learning new skills. Enjoying nature. Intentional communications. Grateful moments. Listening with purpose and resolve. Considering the opportunities as they present. Loving life!”   - Jean Ligon

 

Conclusion

Thank you to all who responded. And thank you for your kind words. We really appreciate you taking the time to let us know how you are holding up, and giving us some great inspiration! We really have come together and connected as a community.

It was extremely difficult picking the top 5 responses, and the whole Embodia team enjoyed reading all of the responses. The authors of the Top 5 responses will be contacted with information on how to access their free course. 

Keep us posted on how you are doing! Reach out anytime at support@embodiaapp.com

This blog was compiled by Jen Ptasinski, the client success manager at Embodia.

Embodia is Canada's largest online education learning platform for physiotherapists and healthcare professionals. We believe that learning is an ongoing process and the best way to remain passionate and effective as a practitioner is to open yourself up to new techniques, methods and beliefs.

Embodia gives you all the accredited continuing education you need to stay up to date on the latest treatments and advances from the comfort of your own home. Increase compliance and minimize patient discharge with the Home Exercise Program app and an all-star line-up of instructors that will teach you the business side of being a successful PT so you can accelerate your career to become a well respected, in demand, and well paid PT who patients love. 

If you're interested in learning more about Embodia - whether you want to host a course with us, take a course or webinar, get started with our HEP app, get set up to see patients virtually - reach out at support@embodiaapp.com and one of our team members will give you a hand.

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