It is common knowledge that working as a nurse can sometimes require long shift patterns, stressful workload and difficult days and often affect your mental health.
A recent survey by Nursing Times showed 90% of nurses feel more stressed and anxious now, than before the Coronavirus pandemic began in March 2020.
As an agency we believe it’s vital for our candidates mental wellbeing to be prioritised and looked after now, more than ever. We understand taking care of your mental health can sometimes be an afterthought, but we want to change this and make sure that you, our amazing nurses, are looking after your mental health as a priority.
Why not start here by taking a look below at some of our tips on how to look after your mental health at work.
Speaking with colleagues
You can find support for your mental health in many forms, however as a nurse you tend to spend most of your week working closely with colleagues. Speaking with colleagues can help relieve any work-related stress you may have, as they can sympathise and have discussions regarding the situation with you. This can be a great opportunity to communicate your feelings with others in a similar position to you and get a fresh perspective on your concerns. Furthermore, colleagues and managers are always on hand when you’re on shift, so if you do have any concerns there is always a shoulder to lean on, as even a simple conversation can drastically help you feel more at ease.
Create a routine
Having a solid routine in place such as setting an alarm, making your bed and then having a substantial breakfast, can act as a structured part of your day. By starting off with a simple routine, this can in turn can give you a sense of accomplishment, whilst prioritising your tasks ahead for the day. Even a simple routine can be important to maintaining good mental health and dealing with anxiety in the workplace.
Dr. Solhkhah (Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioural Health) noted, “Routines can create a positive level of stress that keeps us focused and may avoid some of the depression that many people may experience as a result of the COVID pandemic, isolation, fear and uncertainty”.
It has been reported that nurses with a poor work-life balance are at a higher risk of having poor physical health as a result of stress. This can cause a number of issues, such as; depression, anxiety and headaches, which can drastically affect your productivity and wellbeing. By maintaining a healthy balance, you will gradually find it easier to leave your work-related stress at the door before heading home to switch off from the day and refresh.
Ensuring we get a substantial amount of sleep (which is recommended to be anything between 7-9 hours every night), is crucial to attaining good mental health. Getting enough sleep can help you maintain cognitive skills such as memory, learning and having a strong attention spam – which is especially vital when working as a busy nurse. To find out more information on how to cope with sleep problems, check out Mind’s helpful resources.
Eat & Hydrate
Did you know sick leave due to mental illness’ has increased by 20% in the past two years? To help combat this statistic, we believe it’s just as important to keep your physical body healthy, as well as your mind. When working long shifts on the wards, it can be easy to forget to have a moment to yourself and have a quick drink of water or snack break. Since dehydration can cause a dip in your energy levels and impact how your body digests your food, to perform at your best in your role, it is recommended that you maintain good levels of hydration and aim to drink at least 2 liters of water everyday (which is around 6-8 glasses) to ensure you’re helping to focus at all times.
As a part of our promise to candidates we ensure every placement we make is the right fit for each individual and their own specific requirements. If you’re a nurse looking for your next role and want to work with an agency that truly cares about every candidate, get in touch with our nursing team today or check out our latest vacancies.
T: 01277 217 777