Healthcare workers are at high risk of burnout and need to be mindful of stress. Many hospitals and other facilities offer wellness programs for their staff.
Studies indicate that nurses who participate in nurse wellness campaigns enjoy better quality of life and improved mental Wellbeing, as well as reduced health risks and increased job satisfaction.
1. Healthy Lifestyle
Nursing is a high stress profession that can have a serious impact on nurses’ health. This is why it is important for nurses to maintain a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle can help reduce risk factors for chronic disease, improve a nurse’s quality of life and overall Wellbeing, and prevent burnout.
Creating a culture of wellness in your workplace can help motivate nurses to take care of themselves and practice healthy habits. Many hospitals and healthcare organizations offer healthy living seminars, fitness classes, and other health-related programs to help nurses stay happy and healthy at work.
Keeping up with a healthy lifestyle is hard, especially as a nurse. Dealing with patients experiencing illness and trauma can be incredibly emotionally draining. This can lead to compassion fatigue, which is a common occurrence in the nursing world. Symptoms of this condition include feeling despondent or apathetic toward those who are suffering, and can be dangerous for the people nurses work with as it could endanger their patients’ lives. There are several ways that nurses can try to combat compassion fatigue, including mindfulness practices, exercise, and therapy.
2. Stress Management
Many nurses experience high levels of stress due to overtime work, heavy workload and poor work-life balance. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the stress of exposing family and friends to infection while working in healthcare environments that lack resources or leadership. When nurses do not feel comfortable sharing their stress, it can lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms like smoking, excessive drinking and emotional eating.
As a result, it is critical for nursing leaders to promote healthy coping methods and ensure that staff members understand that stress is normal. Providing education on stress management techniques can help nurses identify personal triggers and develop strategies to reduce them, so they can feel more satisfied with their careers.
For example, nurses can use a journal to identify when they feel overwhelmed. They can then jot down the circumstances that contribute to these feelings so they can try to avoid or mitigate them. Moreover, they can also practice mindfulness to increase job satisfaction and improve quality of care. Nurses who are well rested and have a positive outlook are more productive and less likely to make mistakes that affect patient outcomes.
Nursing is a demanding profession, but taking a moment to relax and breathe deeply can help nurses refocus. In addition, walking or going outside to take in calming sights and smells can be restorative after a hectic shift. Likewise, engaging in hobbies can reduce stress and provide a sense of purpose and joy to nurses’ lives. A number of nurses have rediscovered their love for adult coloring books, knitting and other creative pursuits.
Having healthy nutrition and regular exercise are also essential to combating stress. Stress hormones increase cravings for fatty, salty and sugary foods, while exercise helps to clear the mind and promote positive feelings that can counteract stress.
A comprehensive wellness program is important for nurses, especially because studies show that they are more likely to suffer from burnout than other healthcare professionals. A program tailored to the rigors of nursing and designed with input from the nurses is more likely to succeed and keep nurses happy at work. Consider bringing in massage therapists or Reiki practitioners to offer relaxation on nursing units.
Nurses are a vital part of any healthcare facility. When nurses are stressed, it has a direct impact on patient outcomes. To maintain a healthy work culture and positive patient outcomes, nurses need to be physically and mentally fit.
Exercise is a great way to relieve stress, improve sleep and reduce the risk of depression. It also helps reduce cravings for fatty, salty and sugary fast foods. Exercise releases endorphins, which are feel-good chemicals that boost mood and alleviate feelings of sadness or anxiety.
As nurses often work long hours, it can be difficult to make time for exercise. Providing onsite wellness programs that incorporate physical activity can help nurses balance their busy schedules and stay healthy. Adding group activities that encourage camaraderie, like a friendly competition for the highest step count in a week, can also boost morale. By making it easy and fun to stay active, nurses are more likely to keep up with their fitness goals. This, in turn, can lead to a healthier lifestyle and improved workplace satisfaction. It will also help them stay more energized on the job to provide quality care to their patients.
5. Mental Health
Despite popular perception, nurses are people and have the same mental health concerns as everyone else. Unfortunately, the stigma attached to mental health struggles can make it difficult for nurses to talk openly about their issues and seek treatment.
Having a wellness campaign that helps them cope with their work stress can help nurses address these issues. For example, a program like the ANA Enterprise – Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation that encourages nurses to exercise, get enough sleep and improve their stress management skills can lead to better moods and more productive workers.
Additionally, having a policy that allows nurses to take mental health days shows that their well-being is a priority for the organization and makes them more likely to stay loyal. This can also serve to break the stereotype that nurses should put aside their own needs and feelings for those of their patients.
Decent work is good for mental health. This includes avoiding workplace factors that can negatively impact mental health, such as insecure employment, excessive workloads and lack of control over daily tasks.