Interpreter 4-1-1: 6 Tips for How Interpreters Can Stay Healthy

Interpreter 4-1-1: 6 Tips for How Interpreters Can Stay Healthy

By Brenda Cartwright  |  Friday, February 26, 2016

This article is by Brenda Cartwright. Brenda is a seasoned interpreter, a master teacher, and well known presenter. Brenda is the author of the Dear Encounters with Reality column in the VIEWS publication from Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) and the book Encounters With Reality: 1001 Interpreter Scenarios. She contributes blog articles for Signing Savvy on interpreting, Deaf culture, and answering a series of "Dear BC" interpreter questions.

We as interpreters are notorious for not taking care of our bodies. We see lots of Repetitive Motion Injury among colleagues. We spend a lot of time in our cars. We may develop unhealthy habits (eating fast food or a lack of exercise). In a profession where the primary focus is other people, we need to keep ourselves healthy.

Here are 6 tips for how Interpreters can stay healthy:

1. Make Priorities

  • Learn to say no to things.
  • Take time out of your schedule for yourself.
  • Use a calendar, such as Google Calendar, to plan ahead.

2. Stay Rested

  • Regular sleep. Set a bedtime.
  • Take catnaps.
  • Take time to clear your head (ex: meditate for 15 minutes).

3. Eat Smarter

  • Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Pack your lunch.
  • Keep healthy snacks in your car or bag.
  • Carry a water bottle.
  • Take a multi-vitamin daily.

4. Stay Active

  • Sign up for an exercise class or a race.
  • Go for a walk. Or better yet take your dog for a walk.
  • Join a gym.
  • Do stretching exercises before you interpret.

5. Be Social

  • Keep in touch with friends.
  • Meet a friend for coffee (or a smoothie) every week.
  • Spend time with family.

6. Be Mindful

  • Read for pleasure.
  • Listen to music.
  • Keep a journal.
  • Volunteer somewhere, anywhere.

We regularly help others as part of our job, but in order to be truly effective we need to take care of ourselves. Adopting these strategies will help you be healthier, happier, and more balanced.

What are your tricks for staying healthy? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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About the Author

Brenda CartwrightBrenda Cartwright is a seasoned interpreter, a master teacher, well known presenter, and author of several best selling sign language and interpreting textbooks from the RID Press. For 35 years Brenda was the Chair of the Sign Language Interpreter Program at Lansing Community College in Lansing, Michigan.

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