As April is Stress Awareness Month, and supporting the mental health of all our staff is always a priority for us, we’ve built some tips to help reduce and mitigate any stress you may be feeling.
1. Take time to relax
We know it can be tough, but when your job is both physically and mentally demanding, it can be hard to switch off once you’re home. Try to prioritise your self-care, so that once you’re back at work it’s at one hundred percent.
If you struggle with stress, not taking time to stop and relax could worsen your symptoms and make you feel overwhelmed.
Key tip: Reduce your screen time - you can monitor this in the settings of your phone, there are apps that allow to block your access to particular apps after set times.
If it’s meeting up for a coffee, going for a walk or even spending 15 minutes on the phone with a friend or loved one, this time can give you a chance to discuss, and work through anything that’s causing you stress or to help your friend out – we all need to be there for each other.
Key tip: Think about a time of day when you could make the time for this and build it into a routine. One or two nights a week could be your catch-up time where you go and see a friend or vice versa – these releases where we can laugh and discuss are so important for us.
3. Get Active
It’s scientifically proven that exercise releases chemicals and endorphins in your brain that relieve stress, so although it may be difficult to find time, it’s worth it.
If you can spare 15 minutes to do some exercise, you’ll feel the psychological benefits straightaway.
Staying physically fit impacts your health as well as your mental wellbeing – if you can get in a positive loop of going to the gym or round the park for a walk, you feel better every time you do it, while the reverse can also be true.
4. Healthy Food = Happy You
Support that new exercise routine by eating and drinking well. Eating on the go during shifts can easily lead to bad dietary choices. Try and beat this by being prepared! Meal prepping will not only help you eat a better-balanced diet but is also less wasteful and therefore good for the environment.
It is recommended by health professionals that everyone should consume 2 litres, or half a gallon of water a day. With the nature of working in the healthcare sector, as a Doctor, Nurse, AHP, HCA, administrator or in any other role, you spend a lot of time on your feet!
If you do not drink enough water, studies have shown that you have an increased risk of headaches and your concentration will be impaired, all these factors affect how you go about your day-to-day life and put a strain on your positivity and concentration.
This doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself – the odd doughnut or cake can also be a stress reliever, as we all know!
5. Enjoy Yourself
Always make time for fun. It could be going to watch your football team, playing sport, binge-watching your favourite show or meeting up for food and drinks with friends – but whatever it is, don’t forget about it. Focus on what you would like to spend your free time doing, rather than what you feel you “should” be doing.
Key tip: Block time out for this! If you have a weekly/monthly plan, give yourself a good few blocks of time simply dedicated to enjoying yourself.
6. Ask For Help
We’ve shared with you our tips to help support your mental health while working in healthcare but we know that this is not always enough. Please know that it is always fine to ask for help.
If you ever find yourself in need of professional support, Mind provides confidential mental health information services. Similarly, Papyrus and Young Minds are also great resources.