03 May The Importance of Self-Care: Raising Awareness During National Mental Health Month
May is National Mental Health Month.
Every year since 1949, Mental Health America and its affiliates have been reaching out to millions of people to raise awareness about mental health – including the importance of self-care.
With the after-effects of the COVID pandemic still fresh, many physicians, nurses, locum tenens, and other healthcare professionals have been dealing with higher-than-normal stress levels, professional burnout, compassion fatigue, and other harmful mental health impacts. All of these can negatively impact job performance and patient outcomes.
Healthcare providers are often inclined to put self-care on the back burner as they care for others. But fortunately, there are steps medical professionals can take to strengthen their mental and professional well-being, this month and beyond. These steps include:
Don’t Ignore Your Body
It sounds obvious, but eating healthy, regular meals goes a long way toward keeping mentally fit. Make sure to always have lunch and snacks on hand to keep you going throughout the day. A few healthy snacks to consider on the job include berries, dark chocolate, and nuts.
Regular exercise – especially outdoors – is also key to proper mental health. Consider a morning or after-work walk, or even a jog to get your blood pumping!
Breathe deeply when under stress – sometimes it helps to take a step back to gather yourself. Get plenty of sleep and avoid mental or physical activities as you approach bedtime. Avoid or limit alcohol. In short, do what you advise your patients to do!
Stay Connected & Reach Out for Support
Research has shown that social support wards off the effects of stress, depression, anxiety, and other health problems. Make a short list of friends and family members who are supportive and positive. Also think of people you feel the need to stay in touch with on a professional level. Try to reach out and make at least one emotional connection a day – but plan realistically.
Switch to Locum Tenens
If you can’t seem to manage your work-life balance or need a change in scenery, becoming a locum tenens may be the perfect solution. When you work as a locum tenens, you can set your own schedule, work in locations of your choosing, eliminate office politics, and take time off between assignments as needed.
While potentially improving your work-life balance, you’ll also be paid well for your services. That’s because locum tenens are in demand and in most cases, you’ll be paid at a higher rate than those working in permanent positions.
This allows you to continue working and enjoying a nice income – but you get to do it on your terms. By taking care of your physical and mental health, you can avoid burnout and perform at your best in any setting.
To find out if a locum tenens career is right for you, contact an experienced medical staffing agency like Annashae.
Talk to a Mental Health Professional
The effects of stress, burnout, and depression can be exhausting. Although physicians, nurses, and health professionals may think that seeking help is a sign of weakness, it doesn’t stop the fact that you still need help. When your world feels like it’s out of control, it’s important to do what’s necessary to keep your mental well-being in check. There are many online resources to help you find the right solution.
Contact Annashae Today
At Annashae, we’re dedicated to the placement of highly skilled clinical practitioners in short and long-term positions. As a nationwide medical staffing and consulting firm, we provide a range of services that enable our candidates to quickly find the career opportunity that fits their needs. For information on how you can further your clinical career, contact us today.