Tips for Healthcare Workers to Cope with Stress
Healthcare workers have been experiencing stress for many years as the industry stays overwhelmed with work. Medical workers are experiencing a very heavy time due to COVID-19 as they have witnessed innumerable deaths, emotional breakdowns, and burnout. The situations in hospitals and the healthcare industry may have magnified during the pandemic.
Whether you are a doctor, a nurse in neonatal care, or a radiologic technologist, you have your share of traumatic events at the hospital that can lead to stress. In addition, disturbing experiences, workload, and lack of growth opportunities can also lead to a stressed medical professional. Therefore, treating and managing stress is of utmost importance as it affects your work life as well as your personal life.
Healthcare professionals need to cope with stress before it starts to affect their daily routine, including productivity at work. Studies have suggested that stress at work among healthcare workers can cause them to feel tired, easily irritated, lack concentration, etc.
It is natural to feel anxious, but it is also necessary to work on anxious, stressful thoughts in order to stay healthy and provide better healthcare services to others. The article below mentions some tips for healthcare professionals to deal with stress and stay motivated during tough times.
Tips for Building Resilience and Coping with Stress among Healthcare Workers
Stress is a serious issue; some of you might have experienced it before, and know the ways to cope with it. At the same time, many healthcare workers have felt stress, but do not know how to tackle it. It doesn’t take a lot of time to build resilience against stress.
Have you been facing stress for a very long time and want to learn ways to cope? Then, keep reading because we have shortlisted some tips you can use to build resilience and deal with anxious thoughts:
Stay in Contact with your Social Support Circle
Your friends and family are your greatest support, and they can help you get through tough times. It has become easier to stay in contact with each other with the use of advanced technology. It isn’t easy to call people and talk to them during long and exhausting working hours, but it helps relax the mind.
When you know that your friends and family are all doing well and staying healthy, it helps you stay motivated. Also, spending some time with dear ones is always a great way to relax and rejuvenate.
Show your Body that You Care
Prolonged stress affects the body not only mentally, but also physically. Therefore, to cope with the mental stress, you need to move your body physically.
Exercising and eating healthy keeps you energized both physically and mentally. Take small breaks, do some stretching, and indulge in breathing exercises to relax your mind. Mini-break exercises have proven to help cope with anxiety, anger, stress, and tiredness, and they instantly improve mood.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is an important aspect of body care. It becomes difficult to sleep well when you are stressed, but not getting adequate sleep could magnify your stress levels. Use calming music and lowlights to have a sound sleep. Do not include caffeine, alcohol, or activities like watching television in your bedtime routine.
Beware of your Coping Mechanisms
It is necessary to keep a check on your coping mechanisms and behaviors. If you take alcohol, drugs, or other substances, it may also have negative consequences in the long run. You have to be sure of using these substances in moderation. The time-bound stress relief is fun until it starts to show on your physical health. If you find yourself abusing alcohol or drugs, seek urgent help.
Check in on Your Colleagues
Talking to your colleagues can be helpful to you as well as your colleagues. You can identify stress-causing factors and work on looking for solutions together.
Access an Employee Assistance Program
If your workplace has an employee support program, you must enroll yourself in one. Undergoing counseling will help you identify your stress levels, behavioral patterns, and emotional patterns, and provide you pointers to learn how to cope with stress.
Believe in Yourself
As a healthcare worker, you know how stress affects your health and your service to patients. Therefore, you understand the need to cope with stress and know the methods that help you build resilience. Have faith in the healthy methods that you use to de-stress yourself. Please stay away from unhealthy choices like tobacco, drugs, and alcohol; they are bad in the long run.
Activities that can Help Stressed Healthcare Professionals to Rejuvenate
Taking necessary steps to de-stress yourself is important, and sometimes involving yourself in physical activities can help relieve stress. In addition, these activities assist in reconnecting with yourself by giving you time to process your experiences. Too often, stress is caused because healthcare professionals do not have the time to process the events they witness.
Drawing and Journal Writing
Pen down your thoughts or write just a few things you are grateful for! Then, you can express your feelings by drawing using an app, a notebook, or a laptop. Do this little activity every day or on alternate days to release the negative energy from your system. Taking things out of your brain in one form or the other will help your brain de-stress and unwind.
You could either record yourself while reading the description of a place you have been to or want to go to that makes you feel at peace. Then, you can listen to that recording, or you can listen to the already available guided scripts online. There are several podcasts also available online that help people relax and relieve stress.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Healthcare workers have tight schedules, leaving little or no time for them to exercise or walk. You can use a few seconds while on your shift to relax some tensed muscles by breathing in and out. Stress causes the muscles to tighten, resulting in headaches, backaches, and similar pain. You can use a muscle-relaxation guidance available online to manage your stress level at your workstation.
Meditation has scientifically proven results in lowering blood pressure and reducing anxiety and stress, and it even helps in treating insomnia. Meditate only a few minutes during the day or practice meditation between short breaks whenever you find time for yourself.
If you cannot find the time to enroll in an institute or take up a full course to take advantage of Fluoroscopy CE credits, take the help of online videos for guidance.
Healthcare professionals stay under constant stress because of the nature of their job. They have to deal with patients as well as serious injuries, and they often have to provide professional and emotional support. The little events that happen on an everyday basis are hard on these workers irrespective of their post.
Medical professionals do not get enough time to process these events, resulting in them being stressed. You should make time to do small activities, and also follow some practices mentioned above to de-stress yourself. Do not forget to stay up-to-date with the healthcare laws.