Reduce nurse burnout by taking care of your mental health.
Due to the unprecedented events going on in the world, it is important now more than ever to maintain practices of self-care. As a nurse, you are probably dealing with a multitude of different stressors, whether it be at home or in the workplace. With May being National Mental Health Awareness Month, the following tips and resources are listed below to let you know that help is always available, and you are not alone:
Catch up on your Zzz’s.
Although it is sometimes easy to forget the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep every night, it is so important for maintaining optimal mental health. Not to mention, lack of sleep can have a negative effect on critical thinking, decision making, and patient outcomes. For those who work the night shift, getting the right amount of sleep can pose a challenge. One tip for conquering this is to practice going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, even on those days that you aren’t working the night shift.
Let’s face it – you spend all day taking care of others, rarely have a chance to sit down, and are always on the move. You work hard, and you deserve to take some much-needed time to yourself! Self-care doesn’t have to mean taking a day trip to the spa. A few examples are through practicing deep breathing exercises, taking a bath, or practicing mindful meditation.
Ask for Help.
Knowing when to seek help from a mental health provider is so important. Oftentimes, the facility or agency you work for will have programs and services readily available for you to use. If your employer does not offer this type of assistance, find a local counselor or therapist. Always remember that it is okay and perfectly normal to ask for help in these situations. It is not a sign of weakness, rather a sign that you are in tune with your wellbeing.
Create Support Systems.
During this time, it is important to understand the reactions you have to the daily stressors you encounter. Remember that others are likely going through similar situations, and having a support group in place can help ease some of the mental burdens you may be experiencing. Talking to friends, relatives, and coworkers about how you are feeling can have a positive impact on mental wellbeing.
Taking time to disconnect from the world around you can have such a positive impact on mental health. As a nurse, you are always on the move and catering to those around you. Re-charge by spending some time outdoors, or even some face to face time with someone you care about. Remember to relax and enjoy it!
Nursing can be both a demanding yet rewarding profession. Mental Health Month is a great time to start being in tune with your emotions, how you are feeling, and taking steps to maintain your mental wellbeing.