Nurses are known for working unsociable hours and arguably the added pressure of looking after human life, takes its toll on a nurse’s mental health.
It’s known that the risk of getting depression from your job is raised if you work outside the typical 9-to-5, and as nurses work in shifts this is easily done. In fact, working irregular hours or night shifts can increase the likelihood of depression. As mentioned earlier the effect of working in a public service industry alone can affect mental health, having to constantly be in a heightened state of alert as well as external stressors caused by policy changes.
It’s not all doom and gloom however, you can do a number of things to combat the stresses and help your mental health:
- Seems like the obvious choice but when dealing with ‘more important things’ like taking care of human life, you can easily forget about common physiological needs like diet.
- Making changes to your food menu will help you reduce the stress that your body suffers. For example, you could prepare in advance your healthy meals at home for each day through a whole week and carry them on your job. You can even add some delicious smoothies which is perfect for that fast-paced life, for a fast-paced doctor.
- You could also add supplements like Vitamin D to your daily life, especially if you work nights as the lack of Vitamin D can cause mood disorders for some.
Build Your Endurance
- Healthy diet and fitness go hand in hand, so it stands to reason that adding a fitness regime to your daily plans will assist you in being in peak condition for your demanding job. Physical activity has been proven to reduce stress that can come from working long hours.
- Life can get in the way and we are all guilty of falling into a routine and putting ourselves last. As a result, we get into a rut where we don’t rest our mind, body and soul.
- Practicing the art of mindfulness, can help to clear your mind from the same thoughts, to cast out the negative emotions and to make space for new fresh and positive ideas. Mindfulness is also known as a form of meditation.
- There are many apps on the market, that can make the art of learning how to meditate even easier. They can help you sleep better at night as well as help you get your mind in a calm state before that long shift that may require more focus than usual. Practicing meditation or mindfulness can help your body, and your mind will feel more relaxed and calmer over time.
Most importantly, make time for YOU. Caring for others as a profession can often times mean you forget to look after to yourself, just by making some time to do some of the things you love can alleviate stress and help with positive mental well-being.