19 Jan Tips For Prioritizing Your Mental Health This Year
Many of those who work in health care chose their profession out of a desire to help others. It can be challenging for those deeply motivated by a desire to help other people to prioritize self-care. However, as when the oxygen masks drop from the airplane ceiling during an emergency, and you must put one on yourself before helping others, it is essential to develop a good self-care routine when you are committed to a lifetime of helping other people.
How can you put your mental health first?
Pace yourself. Make it a habit to check in with yourself daily, and that habit will sustain you during periods of higher stress. The healthcare industry has been particularly stressful during the last few years, and healthcare workers have witnessed or experienced above-average suffering. As the pandemic continues, it has become even more clear that this is a marathon, not a sprint, and workers need to take care of themselves to do their jobs. Here are a few ways to put your mental health first:
Identify and share anxieties and concerns. You are not alone. Your co-workers likely share many of your fears and concerns. Identifying and sharing emotions can help lighten the load.
Prioritize the basics. Try to get enough sleep and exercise to maintain your energy. Eat regular, healthy meals to fuel your body. Connect with friends and family to support your emotional wellbeing. Monitor your energy level, and take time off when you feel depleted.
Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of depression and anxiety. Healthcare workers must learn to identify the symptoms of stress. Prolonged stress and anxiety can have physical and emotional effects that frequent check-ins might avoid. Stay alert to the warning signs of depression, anxiety, and burnout, and seek help when needed. Everyone experiences stress differently, but common symptoms include:
- prolonged sadness
- difficulty sleeping
- lack of motivation
- trouble concentrating
- feeling a loss of meaning in the work
- constant or frequent frustration
What can you do to change your mental state during stressful times?
Find the positive. Focusing on the wins, large or small, can help keep a positive mindset.
Take breaks. When overwhelm threatens, take a short break. Go for a walk, do mindfulness exercises, or find another way to hit the reset button.
Exercise. Physical activity is a great way to improve your mental and physical state.
Avoid using unhealthy coping strategies. Overeating or using drugs or alcohol might make you feel better for a short while but will likely make you feel worse long term.
Use mental health resources. Your mental wellbeing is as important as your physical wellbeing, and you should seek professional support when necessary. When needed, reach out to a helpline, mental health providers in your area, or other professional resources.
Taking care of your mental health is critical for everyone but especially important for those taking care of others. Prioritizing your mental health, staying alert to the warning signs of depression, and seeking help when necessary will help you stay physically healthy and better able to perform your job and enjoy your life.
Are you seeking less stress and a better work-life balance in 2022?
Annashae connects professionals with incredible short and long-term healthcare opportunities with flexible scheduling, competitive pay, and nationwide support. Connect with us today!