Between complex workloads and delicate patient care, it’s no surprise that health care is one of the most demanding and stressful careers. Stress and burnout have always been common among medical professionals and, disturbingly, these dangerous symptoms are on the rise. What can you do to maintain your mental health while working in health care?
Stress relief for healthcare workers
Watch your diet
Since stress is exacerbated when we are tired or sick, your overall physical health is a key player in preventing burnout. By maintaining a healthy diet, you ensure that your energy levels will be high when the going gets tough. As a start, try to prepare and bring healthy meals to work instead of relying on dubious vending machine and cafeteria options.
Get more rest
Though it can be tough to wind down and turn your brain off after a difficult day at work, your mental health will become progressively worse if you start every day feeling drowsy. Instead of leaving your sleep schedule to chance, discipline yourself to be in bed by a certain hour so that you will be ready for the next day.
Know your limits (and demand that they be respected)
Health care is an important field, and we feel important when our colleagues depend on us. Regardless, your mental health will be left in tatters if you don’t learn how to respectfully say “no.” Whether it means turning down an extra shift or refusing a particular assignment while at work, you must recognize that there are limits to your time and energy. By respecting these limits, you do your coworkers, your patients, and yourself a favor.
Take up a hobby
How will taking on more activities help you feel less stressed? Though it may seem counterintuitive, stress is often exacerbated, not by having too many issues to deal with, but by overthinking one high-stress aspect of one’s life. By finding a way to refocus some of your energy on a low-stakes pastime, you can clear your mind and recover. Active hobbies are a great choice, as they help you get some exercise and maintain your physical health, as well.
Take more frequent breaks
Many healthcare workers feel that there’s not enough time in their day for any breaks, but research indicates that this work ethic is misguided. In fact, taking regular breaks will improve your overall productivity. You’ll have to find a balance, of course, but taking a few minutes every hour to clear your mind and catch your breath will do wonders for your mental state.
Know when it’s time for a change
If you feel that nothing is able to decrease the daily stress of your job, it might be time to consider a change of scenery. Whether your current position is a poor fit for your mental health or you simply are ready for something new, this one decision could allow you to recover your focus and satisfaction with your career.
Now is a great time to be looking for a job in health care, and we’d like to help you find your way. At HireCare, we specialize in placing talented healthcare professionals in exciting facilities that meet their personal demands. To learn more about promising career opportunities throughout the country, contact us today.