by Melanie A. Prince, USAF, Colonel, retired
President, CMSA 2020 - 2022

CMSA has started a blog! Watch this space for the latest info on trends, events, case studies, and industry. This blog is FOR case managers and BY case managers. In fact, we welcome discussions from anyone who works in support care management of patients and clients.  Diversity of thought is the goal!

Spring is my favorite time of the year.  Nature is waking up and there’s a lot of activity all around.  If you are in the Northeast part of the country, the buzzing of cicadas is imminent.  But the buzzing of bees is already here.   I live near a honey farm and I see beautiful bees enjoying the blooming, sweet scented wildflowers. Simply standing still and observing how “nature” goes about its day is inspirational.  I LOVE metaphors and yes, I see bees as a metaphor for case managers.

Bees are the “connectors” of so many things.  They transfer pollen so that plants can germinate, grow and produce.  We have seeds, nuts, berries, fruit, vegetables because of how bees’ transition from plant to plant pollinating flowers that ultimately produce food sources for humans and animals.  They use nearby resources but also fly miles to find new sources.

I thought of case managers and how we spend our personal and professional lives “connecting” people, systems, services.  It’s hard to turn our case management brains off.  We are good at linking patients to resources so they can improve their lives.  We work hard to transition clients from one setting to another and ensure the best opportunity for positive health outcomes.  Our personal lives reflect the benefits of these skills as well.  We meet challenges head on with an attitude of “there is a solution somewhere”.   We are case managers for our families, our friends and our neighbors.  That’s great, but…

The questions of the day:  Do we take time for self-care?  Do we allow ourselves to rest in our hives and recharge before we take flight again?  Colleagues have answered me with “No time to take time for rest”.

But, we must!  We must nurture our mind, body and spirit and practice self-care on ourselves deliberately and intentionally.  The world is opening back up and this is a perfect time to renew our commitment to hobbies, good nutrition, exercise, reconnecting with family and friends, meditation, sports, self-talk affirmations, and my favorite…enjoying nature.

American Nurses Association mandates self-care in its Code of Ethics.  National Association of Social Workers produced podcasts on self-care.  Have you used any of their recommended strategies or designed some of your own?  Share the buzz!