No one can argue with the fact that nursing is a grueling profession. One study found that 98 percent of hospital nurses reported that their work was physically and mentally demanding. Despite this, it can be extremely rewarding.

In addition to the increased fear and healthcare staffing shortages, the pandemic has exacerbated that stress. The pandemic has had a significant impact on the mental health of many nurses, compared to what they were experiencing prior to the outbreak.

To put it plainly, nurses must take better care of their mental health now more than ever.

Patients are likely to be at the forefront of your mind at all times if you're a nurse. However, if you don't take care of yourself first, you won't be able to properly care for others.

There are many ways nurses can prioritize their mental health, so let's look at a few of them. To avoid burnout and to be more present and focused for your patients, use these ideas.

Create a Calming Environment in Your Own Home

Your home should be a place where you can "escape" from the pressures of work and recharge your batteries. There are a number of factors that can affect how you feel, and one of the most important is your living environment. You can create a more serene and relaxing atmosphere in your home by:

  • Each room's color scheme should be neutral or calming.
  • Having an area that is completely free of distractions
  • Using lavender and other calming scents
  • Adding a sense of coziness to your decor by using extra blankets and pillows

Plants, such as houseplants, can also be helpful in reducing stress and improving mental health in your home. Bringing nature into the home can be beneficial to mental and physical health. Plants purify the air, lower blood pressure, and lessen symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Relaxation Methods 

At home, on the job or out and about you never know when you'll be feeling overwhelmed or stressed. Relaxation techniques can be helpful in these situations because they bring you back into the here and now and help you to feel calm.

You can easily incorporate mindfulness and meditation into your daily routine or whenever you feel the need to do so.

Meditation and mindfulness can take some time and practice to get used to. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths before you begin. Breathe in and out, and notice how your body responds. You can quickly calm down and return to your daily routine if you shift your focus from the outside world to your own thoughts and feelings. If you're anxious at work, these techniques may also make it easier for you to be more productive.

It's the little things that make a big difference.

The hours you work as a nurse may be irregular. If you're like most people, you put in long days at the office and may believe that you don't have time to take care of yourself on a daily basis. That's not the case, however. It's a common misconception that self-care necessitates something extravagant or lavish in order to be effective.

In reality, self-care can be as simple as doing something you enjoy each day.

If you have a busy schedule but still find time to do small things, you will feel more energized and less stressed every day. To get started, here are some ideas that can make a big difference in your mental well-being:

  • Exercising
  • Eating a nutritious diet
  • Face-to-face time with loved ones
  • Putting sleep first
  • Having a good time someplace exciting

Mental health benefits can also be gained from participating in activities that you enjoy. It's never too late to try a new hobby, whether it's painting or journaling. You don't have to spend a lot of time doing any of those things. You'll always have something to look forward to and a way to relax if you make self-care a priority, even if it's only for a short time.

Conclusion

Nurses have always placed a high value on patients' mental well-being. Don't let your professional success come at the expense of your personal happiness. Reach out to a mental health professional if you're having trouble with your mental health. You can still be the best nurse you can be by prioritizing your mental health while still finding happiness and contentment in your everyday life.

May 12, 2023

Natasha Osei

Passionate Nurse Practitioner | People person
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