5 Mental Health Tips for Nurses
Published 8:06 pm Saturday, June 17, 2023
Nursing is a psychologically and physically demanding career. As a nursing professional, you may experience many stress sources like long shifts, heavy workloads, patient mortality, health and safety concerns, and workplace bullying, negatively impacting your mental well-being. This may result in other mental health problems like depression and anxiety. Poor mental health can significantly contribute to burnout.
If your mental health as a nurse diminishes, the quality of the nursing care you provide will suffer, increasing the risk of medical errors. Good mental health ensures more efficient and engaged nurses and job satisfaction and improves patient satisfaction. Here are five mental health tips for nurses.
1. Complete continuing education training
Completing a continuing education (CEU) training program is an excellent way to improve your mental well-being by helping you gain insights into things besides patient care. Through these courses, you can explore new specialties like forensic nursing, nursing leadership, and advanced titles, including nurse educator, nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, certified nurse midwife, and certified registered nurse anesthetist.
Enrolling in continuing education courses such as an online DNP degree open to Virginians or from which city you are in, can help you maintain a high personal satisfaction level and find lasting fulfillment in your career, which is good for your mental health.
2. Take regular breaks
Most nurses experience fast-paced working days almost every day, which can be mentally and physically demanding. Nurses can be hardworking, compassionate, and dedicated. However, they should protect themselves from exhaustion and stress or their emotional, physical, and mental manifestations, which can quickly become burnout. Regular brief breaks from your job demands are vital as they allow for restoration and rest.
These breaks minimize stress levels, boost physical stamina, improve focus, and stabilize emotions. They also lower the risk that a fast-paced or chaotic work environment can turn into a burnout case. While taking breaks during your shift boosts your energy levels, a vacation refreshes you in a way that empowers you to go back to work with a more restored sense of purpose, mind, and body.
3. Practice mindfulness
Being mindful involves being completely attentive and present to what is going on in the present. As a nurse, incorporating mindfulness into your daily practice by bringing your concentration to the present when interacting with patients can help enhance your work performance. When you include mindfulness in nursing practice can help lower stress reactivity. As a mindfully deliberate nurse, you can implement your daily plans more effectively.
4. Engage in physical activity
Physical activity is essential in a physically intensive career like nursing, so it’s vital to take care of your health. Remaining active directly impacts your capacity to improve and maintain your emotional and psychological health. Look for exercises you love and are motivated to continue doing. You can walk, swim, run, dance, bike ride, or do Pilates, yoga, and team sports like basketball, football, or netball. Exercising improves mental health, reduces the risk of anxiety and depression, boosts mood and concentration, and minimizes stress.
5. Get enough sleep
Irregular and long hours that most nurses work, added to the job’s emotional and physical demands, can make it hard for nursing professionals to get the sleep required to help them stay focused and alert. Sleep deprivation causes mental health issues, increases the risk of mistakes, causes physical exhaustion, and reduces job satisfaction. Getting enough sleep can help prevent these concerns, improving performance.
Good mental health is crucial for nurses to enhance performance and increase efficiency. Consider implementing these nurse tips to improve mental health.