Many healthcare personnel experience stress by burnout due to frequent staffing shortages, workplace bullying, and increasing paperwork demands. Experts caution that emergency events such as the COVID-19 pandemic might exacerbate stress and lead to severe mental health problems.
In that case, it can be helpful to consider what you can do to manage and cope in high-stress environments, such as identifying your triggers, strengthening your resilience, and finding effective coping strategies. In addition, as the prevalence of stress among healthcare workers continues to rise, you must be aware of how to alleviate it by utilizing stress management activities to help you feel at ease and have a healthy mind. If you are stressed and exhausted, continue reading because this might help you.
Recognize and Deal With What Causes You Stress
Certain factors can increase your stress levels. Paying attention to these triggers might help you better prepare for them, reducing their potential negative impact on your mental health.
Triggers may be unique to each individual and are not always straightforward to identify. Here are some hints on identifying them:
- You should observe closely. You may not be able to avoid stressful circumstances at work, but if your heart rate spikes when reading the news or talking to a particular acquaintance, you may want to limit how often you check your phone.
- Your feelings matter. You are trained to be calm, objective, efficient, and human.
- Beware of vicarious trauma and compassion weariness. Healthcare personnel witness many tragic incidents, and stress management activities can really help. While talking about these memories can help, they can also create worry or stress in the listener.
Stress Reduction Through “Natural” Means
When hospitals and their staff need a break from the stress of a long shift, they often head outside. Many of the aforementioned “serenity rooms” integrate water features or indoor plants to create an inviting, vibrant area where workers can unwind. Some hospitals have even installed tiny outdoor gardens for their personnel to enjoy when they need a break from all the hustle and bustle.
Enhance Your Resilience
As a healthcare practitioner, your resilience is unmatched. Still, you’ll be able to deal with stressful situations better if your body and mind are in good shape. Although it can be challenging to do stress management activities when working long hours, persons in high-stress workplaces are advised to prioritize the “building blocks of wellness.”
- You should focus on obtaining more (and better) sleep. Stress and sleep deprivation are mutually reinforcing. Stress can make it difficult to sleep, and little sleep can increase feelings of anxiety.
- Consider eating nutritious foods. You may not have the opportunity to sit down and eat during your shift, so try to consume a well-balanced meal before and after.
- Exercise. You spend all day on your feet. Going for a jog may be the last thing on your mind right now, and that’s okay.
- Your leadership should prioritize mental wellness. Frontline workers have limited control. Healthcare administrators and managers must be proactive to preserve workers’ mental health.
Doctors, nurses, and other medical workers, especially those who work in hospitals, deal with a lot of anxiety, stress, and burnout. Taking care of your mental health and following these stress management activities is always important, but it’s even more important when you’re under a lot of stress.