Self-care: The secret to a success mindset

Picture of Dr. Jen Harrison

Dr. Jen Harrison

Dr. Jen Harrison has been an Athletic Therapist for over 33 years and a chiro for 24 years. She works part-time at Active Back to Health Centre, a multi-disciplinary clinic in Calgary. Over the years she’s guest lectured many times at Mount Royal (College) University for the AT program. From 2002 to 2014 she taught a number of CATA courses across Canada including Muscle Energy Technique and Strain Counterstrain.

In addition to her practice, she’s also a stress and bodymind health expert, Certified Canfield Success Principles Trainer (by Jack Canfield), Success Mindset Coach, best selling author, online course creator & international speaker. Through her online business of courses and coaching, Jen helps health care professionals and entrepreneurs with stress management. She also assists them in creating a success mindset to more easily achieve their life and business goals. Some of Jen’s favorite self-care activities include spending time with family and friends and hiking in the Rocky Mountains.

June is National Athletic Therapy Month so we are dedicating this blog to all of the amazing Alberta Athletic Therapists who work hard everyday for their clients and athletes. Remember, in order to take care of others you have to take care of yourself first.

Many (many) years ago when I was in Grade 11, we were given an assignment to interview someone in a profession we wanted to get into. I had discovered info about sports physiotherapy while in my small-town Manitoba high school library the year before. However, one of my brothers was playing hockey for Brandon University at the time and he arranged an interview for me with then Head Athletic Therapist (now CATA Hall of Famer and recipient of the Member Emeritus Award) Steve Dzubinski.

I still remember how candid Steve was about what it meant to be an AT. It wasn’t all glory and glamor working with elite athletes. He told me straight up that every day you’re the first one there and the last one to leave. From September to March, evenings and weekends you’re working with teams which meant time away from family and friends.

I have to say, I was a bit taken aback. However, it was also through Steve that I found out about the Sports Injury Management program at Sheridan College – which back in the mid-80s was the only program of its kind in Canada.

As ATs, we’re all natural-born helpers. We want to help athletes and active folks be as healthy and successful as they can be – either in their sport, their work, their everyday lives or all of the above.

However, the challenge that we helpers have is that we tend to put everyone else’s needs ahead of our own. This is a recipe for burnout. (Been there, done that.)

2 simple yet powerful self-care tools

Recently I was a virtual presenter at an international online event. My topic was how self-care is the hidden key to creating a success mindset. Here are 2 simple but powerful self-care tools from my presentation that you can use to put some fuel back in the tank.  

1. The basics

Sleep, nutrition, H20 and exercise. We all know how important they are but they still go out the window when we’re busy and stressed. I always encourage people to keep it simple but be consistent.

2. Breathing meditation

We’re all familiar with the research showing the numerous health benefits of meditation. However, if you think you can’t meditate because you can’t quiet your mind or don’t have time, try this one! It’s a really easy but effective 10 breath meditation with a mantra that you can do anytime, anywhere. I’ve literally done this one standing in the check out line at the grocery store! As you breathe in just say to yourself, “I breathe in relaxation” and as you exhale say, “I breathe out tension.” Like I tell my patients and coaching clients, you’re going to be breathing anyway, so you may as well use it to your full advantage!

I encourage you to use these and other self-care tools as part of creating a success mindset. That way you can keep doing what you love to do without sacrificing your health and happiness.

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