6 Ways Nurses Can Improve their Mental Health
Nurses are the backbone of the healthcare industry. They help care for the well-being of patients by feeding, bathing, washing and performing other healthcare duties. Since nurses are always on-the-go, life can become busy and stressful sometimes.
It’s important that nurses maintain their mental health so they can stay happy at their jobs and within their personal life.
If you’re a nurse trying to manage the stress life plays on your mental health, then you’re not the only one! Maintaining mental health is a crucial part of everyone’s busy schedule, and it's especially crucial for nurses to stay healthy and happy.
Here are six ways nurses can manage their mental health.
1. Schedule time for yourself
You can help ensure your mental health by scheduling time for yourself. When your job gets stressful, take time when you get home to relax and reenergize. If you have important responsibilities like feeding the kids or making dinner when you get home, make sure to finish these first. Then, schedule an hour or two for yourself. Here are some ways you might relax on your own:
- Get a massage
- Take a warm bath
- Listen to music
- Read a book
- Watch a comedy
- Think about your goals
- Plan a local trip
- Treat yourself to a special gift
2. Do something different
It’s always great to get out of your comfort zone and explore the world around you in different ways. You might want to learn a new hobby or go on adventure. Anything that stimulates the mind and puts you in a new setting can improve your mental health. On your off-days, go down to your local park and see what activities they may offer. Search online for a local club to join. Keeping yourself active on your days off can help you feel more energetic and happy.
3. Stimulate your senses
One way to improve your mental health is to appreciate the world around you. Stimulate your mind and senses by enjoying beautiful works of art, going for a walk outside, or taking pictures of nature. You might even want to cuddle up in warm blanket and enjoy the textures around you. Becoming a part of a peaceful environment can give you a renewed love for life. Here are some ways you can stimulate your senses.
- Go to the museum
- Watch a film
- Get creative (paint, draw, write)
Exercise is key to maintaining mental health. Physical activity helps stimulate chemicals called endorphins in your brain. These chemicals help release feelings of relaxation and contentment. Before your nursing shift, try to get in 30-60 minutes of exercise at least three times a week. Exercise can help you feel more alert and improve your value and well-being because you’re taking care of yourself. If you don’t like exercising, try staying active in fun ways like:
- Power walking
Some people may feel awkward socializing with people they don’t know well. But building human relationships are important to maintain your well-being. If you’re feeling lonely in your spare time, then take time to socialize with others. You could meet new people with similar interests by joining clubs, networking, or volunteering for a cause that’s important to you. Connecting with others can help you feel valued.
6. Focus on the positive
If you’re a nurse, you know you’ll need to have a positive attitude toward your patients and co-workers. It’s important to maintain a positive attitude toward yourself and unexpected or negative situations. Diffusing problems with positivity can make you come off as professional and responsible. However, staying positive will also help your mental health. Looking at the positive aspects of all situations can greatly improve the way you manage your reactions and can cause you to become a happier person.Remember, working in a profession you love can help you stay postive and focused throughout the day.
Salter Nursing wants our students and graduates to stay happy and positive throughout their studies, professional careers, and their personal lives. Use these six steps as a guide to improving any rough patches you may go through.
Salter Nursing & Allied Health gives student tips, career-related advice, and information our healthcare training programs in our weekly blog. To find out more about our career training programs, contact us today. If you're a student or recent graduate and want to know more about finding a job in your field, take advantage of our Career Services Department!