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Stress Management Tips for Healthcare Workers

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This month, we’re focusing particularly on emotional wellness. To start off, we’re discussing the stress management tips specifically geared toward healthcare workers.

It’s true: stress management is a necessity for just about everyone right now. We’re dealing with great change in the world, and doing everything we can to adapt to new stresses.

But this stress is often even more relevant to healthcare workers as they are faced with worried patients and families and the responsibility of the health of others.

Whether it’s a high intensity life-or-death situation or more simple prescription fill, all healthcare workers are faced with stress. This means stress management is particularly important to workers in this industry as their own emotional wellness is essential to taking care of others. 

Understanding Stress Management in the Healthcare Industry

Stress is something to which healthcare workers are particularly vulnerable. Understandably, this greatly increases their chances of becoming overwhelmed. Their situation is different than most, which means that the approach to managing stress will be different too.

Healthcare workers are known to work extended shifts and have demanding work schedules. This often leads to a lack of self-care or little connection to their support network. Not to mention a major lack of sleep!

One thing that healthcare workers also experience which is commonly overlooked, is that they are constantly restricted by protective equipment. This makes it hard to stay comfortable and can take a physical toll on them.

Concern for their own health in the midst of others can also become overwhelming, along with the need to make quick adjustments and adapt to new situations. The unique circumstances of healthcare workers make them susceptible to higher levels of stress.

How to Approach Stress Management

If you’re a healthcare worker, what exactly can you do to better manage your stress and effectively maintain emotional wellness? Let’s discuss some options!

Stay in tune with your feelings

The best way to get started on dealing with stress is to understand your feelings around it. 

Monitor yourself for spikes in overwhelming feelings and remind yourself that those feelings are normal – especially during difficult times.

While some stress is helpful in keeping you energized and on your toes, excessive stress can start to take a toll on your mental health. Try not to suppress your feelings about stress, but rather, use those feelings as indicators that it may be time to take a step back.

It may even be traumatic stress that is surfacing during unexpected times. Avoid ignoring those feelings and use them as motivation to take action in managing them.

Discover where the issue is rooted

Once you recognize your feelings around stress and they start to surface, it will be important to get to the root of the issue. 

Perhaps it’s the uncertainty of what’s to come. Maybe it’s something more specific like an unhappy or ill patient under your care.  

When you get a clear picture of what it is that is impacting you, you can then start to figure out ways to deal with your situation. Ignoring the issue altogether will only make things worse in the long run. This is why it’s essential to pinpoint it and deal with it head on.

Oftentimes it’s even doing just the smallest things to look after yourself that can make all the difference to your overall stress levels. (Keep reading for some specific ideas!)

Discuss your stress with others out loud

When you hold in your feelings, it’s easy for them to pile on and eventually lead to an outburst of emotions. Discuss your stress with others that you trust to get those feelings off your chest.

Your support system can also be incredibly valuable in helping you to talk through the situation at hand. They might even help you get to the root of the problem. Their insights provide you with possible solutions for how you can better manage your stress whether or not they are also in the healthcare industry.

Fight compassion fatigue

Compassion fatigue is the stress that goes along with caring too much about a particular situation. It is incredibly relevant to healthcare workers as they care so much about their patients and become involved in their lives through their stories and seeing their pain.

In these cases, healthcare workers will experience empathy and start to take on similar emotions to their patients. This then starts to take a toll on their emotional wellbeing.

Compassion fatigue can be fought by doing away with feelings of self-blame and guilt. Growing your support system and participating in the community are also useful in this type of situation.  

Practice self-care

Even when it feels like the last thing you should be doing is practicing self-care, it’s important to always make it a priority.

Why?

Simply because the little things that you do for yourself can make a big difference in your overall stress levels. If you don’t take care of your own basic physical and mental health needs, then you will not be properly equipped to look after the needs of others.

Take time to read, listen to music, take a bubble bath – whatever it is that is going to make you feel good. A minute to yourself is a productive minute gained to help others.

Speaking of music, it is a powerful tool when it comes to self-care and stress relief. Learn all about it here.

Learn to balance a healthy lifestyle

They say ‘it’s all about balance’, but there’s something about that rule that often gets missed when it comes to healthcare workers. Your schedule and tasks can be incredibly demanding which means that work life balance is a lot harder to achieve.

A healthy lifestyle requires eating well and looking after your body, and is the key to maintaining balance. Always make sure to get enough exercise and that you’re eating enough nutritious food. Sometimes even getting a bit of fresh air can mean all the difference to your health.

Is workplace stress starting to tip the scale? It may be time to allow yourself some time off. Take those vacation days if you can! If not, it’s okay to take mental health and wellness days when you need to.

Eliminate unhealthy coping strategies

There are many things that may feel like they are helping you, when in reality, they’re only setting you back. Things like consuming alcohol or smoking are unhealthy coping strategies that only make things worse in the long run.

These things can have a negative impact on your mental and physical health, which is really the last thing you need when it comes to managing your stress!

Put these coping strategies aside and think about what healthier options are available to you.

Tools for Stress Management

If you’re a healthcare worker, these tips could mean all the difference to your emotional wellness and how you approach stress management. As you navigate different techniques to stress management, it’s likely that you will find some are more effective than others.

What gives one healthcare worker stress relief might not work for the next. The key is staying persistent!

If you’re looking for another unique and effective way to manage stress, we encourage you to give the Xen by Neuvana Headphones a try.

It’s well accepted that stress in healthcare workers has negative health effects on the body. Xen by Neuvana helps to relieve this stress and promote emotional wellness through VNS waveforms.

Research suggests the type of stimulation Xen provides may improve sleep, reduce stress, boost your mood and help to support emotional wellness. Individual results may vary.

Learn more about this revolutionary product here.

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