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Stress Busting for Health Care Workers

October 16, 2018 0 Comments

Whether we like it or not, stress has become a big part of society. As technology increases, the demand for speed, perfection and 24/7 service increases. ‘Today’ is about fast-paced scrutiny on tasks and outcomes – and the potential for stress-induced illness has increased.

The older we (and our clients) get, the more things we worry about, and the more potential for us to become stressed. Health Care Workers deal with a lot of things every single day! It is a demanding job – and some days one can feel unappreciated and misunderstood. If a nurse or carer focused entirely on that, the job could drain the life out of you! This is why it is important to take a moment to breathe, focus on your own health, and reboot when things don’t go exactly your way.

As a Health Care Worker, it is important for you to take care of yourself physically and emotionally in order for you to have a healthy mind and body to serve the fast-paced society we have become. Here are a few ways to beat stress:

  1. Begin your day with positivity

Starting your day with a positive mindset is the key to having a positive day ahead. Create a morning mantra – wording that you believe (ie. achievable) and that makes you feel good. Tell yourself that you have the skills needed for your job, and you are ready to do your best today at work (and other areas of your life – if that is your wish). Tell yourself that you are prepared and that you are in control of your mind and body. And always remember to face the day with a smile.

Some ‘self help gurus’ recommend focusing on all of the things in your life that you are thankful for – and cast your mind over them as you get ready in the morning, eg. while you shower. Think of how your spouse, partner, children, family members, best friends, or pets make your life better. Focus on how luck you are to have a roof over your head, that you have the freedom (and choice) to actually work, and really do have the choice to start the day with a positive mental attitude.

  1. Exercise going to work

Rather than driving a car, catching a taxi or uber, why not choose to walk or bike to (or part of the way to) work? Perhaps park a bit further away from the health care facility or get off the bus one stop earlier and walk the rest of the way. Most people perceive they do not have enough time to squeeze in exercise before getting ready in the morning, but that doesn’t mean you no longer have the opportunity to stretch your muscles and pump up your cardio – even just a little. Walking or biking your way to work gives you that extra boost of endorphins… and we all know the positive outcome of that!

  1. Identify the source of stress

When you’ve been working for hours and stress is starting to creep in, it’s always good to identify the stressors. If it is lumped into one big problem, eg. “Ugh! I’m over this job!” we never really have the opportunity to make changes (even small ones) that could make all of the difference. Identifying the stressors can help to give you ideas on how to properly deal with whatever it is that is causing the tension.

  1. Take a break

You are not a machine, so take your breaks. You are entitled to them – and they were invented for a reason. Take a walk outside and breathe in some fresh air, grab some wholesome food and drink so you’ll be energised, and stretch your muscles to relieve pressure and tension. You can even take out your phone and watch funny videos or listen to music to further enhance your ‘feel good’ mood.

  1. Talk with your colleague

One of the best ways to beat stress is to actually talk with your co-workers. When you have downtime, chat with your peers and talk about anything and everything under the sun! The majority of animals (including humans) have an underlying need to connect. Having a conversation with someone is a great way to keep your sanity at work and fight stress altogether.

  1. Pamper yourself and have a good night sleep

At the end of your work day, be sure to pamper yourself. Take a nice warm bath to relax your tired body. If it’s a hot evening, then a dip in a pool would be delightful. Have a tasty, healthy meal. And finally, have a good night sleep. Routine sleep patterns assist with getting the full benefits of sleep – although working shifts can make this a little challenging. If this is the case, then adjust your bedroom (or sleeping quarters) to be conducive with sleep. Heavy curtains will block out street lights, an open window will allow fresh air to circulate and increase oxygen in the room, screens on windows will stop pesky insects from entering, soft music in the background could help to block out other annoying noises that may keep sleep at bay, and of course a comfortable surface to sleep on will help. And of course avoid drinking coffee, chocolate or other stimulants before bed time.



Filed in: Care Tips

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