Are you a nurse who’s constantly under pressure to meet the requirements of your family, friends, and colleagues? Has it impacted your mental well-being? And do you want to improve your mental health? If so, you have come to the right place.
As a nurse, it’s easy to get caught up in the daily tasks of caring for patients, but it’s important to remember to take care of yourself. Caring for others is an easy routine you can fall into and neglect personal well-being. However, we are here to help you prioritize yourself.
Mental wellness is essential to maintaining a healthy work-life balance. Nurses must prioritize their well-being to deliver quality patient care. In this blog, we’ll discuss the top five ways you can give precedence to your mental well-being and care for your patients.
As a nurse, you have dedicated your life to caring for others with love and compassion. It is in your nature to nurture and tend to the needs of others. However, it is essential to remember that taking care of yourself should also be a priority. Self-care is not selfish but a necessary way to ensure that you are healthy and can continue providing care to others.
Putting your needs first can be challenging, primarily when you are used to prioritising your patients. However, you cannot give your best to your patients without caring for your well-being.
Self-care also includes self-growth. If you are looking to advance your career and prepare for new opportunities and responsibilities in nursing, you should consider pursuing an RN to BSN degree. It helps you gain more confidence and delegate tasks. Moreover, your expertise and qualification might allow you to choose a more flexible schedule. This way, you can take a break from your work life.
Self-care activities may include walking, practicing yoga, eating a nutritious meal, or spending time with loved ones. Find activities that bring you joy. Ensure to make time for them. Remember, self-care is not a one-time event but an ongoing practice that you should incorporate into your daily routine.
Engaging in hobbies or activities that bring you happiness is also essential to self-care. You may enjoy reading, listening to music, gardening, or any other activity that brings you joy. Making time for these activities can help you relax and recharge, benefiting your patients.
Create a support system
Your job can be physically and emotionally demanding. You are exposed to people at their most vulnerable moments and witness the pain and suffering of illness and injury. Having a support system is crucial to help you manage the stress and emotions of the job.
Your support system can be anyone who can provide a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on. It could be your family, friends, coworkers, or even a therapist. These individuals can help you process your feelings and cope with the challenges of the job.
It is important to remember that you are not alone in your struggles. Other nurses have experienced similar emotions and challenges at some point. You can find support in your coworkers, who may be able to relate to what you are going through. Lean on each other and create a supportive work environment.
Remember that seeking support is not a sign of weakness but rather strength. These people can help you be a better nurse and provide the best possible patient care.
Take breaks when needed
We understand that you work tirelessly to provide the best care to your patients. It can be easy to forget about taking breaks, but it’s essential to prioritise your own well-being.
You could take a quick walk around the unit, take a few minutes to sit and rest, or even take a day off when needed. Remember that taking a break is not a sign of weakness but rather a way to ensure you care for yourself.
During your much-needed breaks, engage in activities that help you relax and recharge. You may meditate, read a book, listen to music, or close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Whatever it is, make sure that you are taking time to focus on yourself and your well-being.
Taking breaks can also help you reflect on your work and identify areas for improvement. It can be a time to reassess your priorities, regroup and ensure you care for your patients in a better way.
Remember that your well-being is as important as the care you provide to your patients. Taking breaks when needed can help you recharge and prevent burnout, ultimately benefiting you and your patients.
As a nurse, your commitment to your patients is admirable, and you often go above and beyond to provide the best care possible. However, it is crucial to remember that setting boundaries is essential to maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
When overwhelmed, say no to extra shifts or delegate tasks to coworkers. Saying no to additional work is not selfish but a way to prioritize your well-being.
Another way to set boundaries is to limit your time checking work emails outside work hours. Disrupting from work and having time for yourself and your loved ones is essential. By limiting the amount of time spent on work-related tasks outside of work, you can ensure that you are taking care of yourself and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Engage in positive self-talk
It is essential to remember that how you talk to yourself will profoundly impact your mental wellness. A positive self-talk is a powerful tool that can help boost your self-esteem and improve your overall outlook.
The words you speak to yourself are just as important as those you speak to others. You can cultivate a positive mindset by reframing negative thoughts into positive ones, focusing on your strengths and accomplishments, and giving yourself credit for your hard work.
Negative self-talk is damaging and will lead to feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt. Recognise when negative self-talk is creeping in and actively work to replace those thoughts with positive ones. This can take practice and effort, but the results are worth it.
You have been called to a noble and revered profession as a nurse. This profession requires your skill, knowledge, heart, and compassion. As a nurse, you have the power and capacity to spread love and kindness to your patients and their families every day.
You are not just a healthcare provider; you are a source of comfort and support for those who are vulnerable and in need.
David Radar, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.