Reduce Stress health workers

Healthcare workers are frontline fighters who protect our communities from life-threatening illnesses, viruses, pandemics, and unhealthy lifestyles. One doesn’t need to dive deeper, for the ongoing pandemic alone encourages us to value these frontline saviors.

The coronavirus pandemic had brought the entire world, along with its technological advancements, to a halt. Yet, if it weren’t for the dedication, selfless commitment, and courage of healthcare professionals, the world would never recover. Unfortunately, it takes a pandemic for the world to acknowledge and appreciate the services of healthcare workers.

Sadly, health workers are among the most undervalued and underappreciated professionals, despite their dynamic contributions to community welfare. These professionals deal with overwhelming occupational stress, which puts them at risk for grave physical and mental illnesses. Given the life-and-death emergencies they deal with and their hectic schedules, stress is their lifelong companion.

But there are ways to cope with and manage occupational stress to improve your life and work quality. Keep reading to explore strategies that you can embrace to elevate your lifestyle.

1. Academic Advancement & Professional Growth

The prospect of returning to school and advancing your education is likely to increase your stress instead of reducing it, right? The thought of combining higher education with your existing work schedule may seem like a nightmare to make your life more stressful. But this mindset can thwart your career advancement prospects, restricting you in a loop of hectic routines.

All healthcare professionals enjoy clinical significance with higher education and advanced training. For instance, nurses with advanced specializations work closely with patient diagnosis, treatment, and medical care. Fortunately, it’s much easier for modern-day BSN nurses to pursue an online msn degree with a full-time job.

E-learning platforms allow healthcare professionals to pursue their career dreams and reduce occupational stress significantly. Whether you’re a lab technician, a registered nurse, or a surgeon, prioritizing your career is of the utmost significance. In contrast, healthcare workers who don’t pursue higher education end up serving the same position throughout their careers. Technology acquisition often eliminates the need for their preliminary skills and mediocre talents.

2. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

The pursuit of higher education can help you enjoy the flexibility and the freedom to define your schedule. However, professional growth isn’t the ultimate antidote for occupational stress. If that were the case, prolific surgeons and physicians would never experience stress, given their clinical significance.

Occupational stress stems from many responsibilities and distress that healthcare workers struggle with each day. Their interactions with patients fighting chronic illnesses and the pressure of saving lives alone are enough to cause pain.

As a result, healthcare workers are compelled to ignore their wellbeing and focus on the patients entrusted to their care. Occupational stress leads to physical illnesses, mental disturbances, reduced life quality and performance, and eventual burnouts.

However, cognitive-behavioral therapy helps healthcare workers process and reduce their chaotic schedules and demanding work routines. Essentially, CBT helps healthcare workers develop coping skills and strategies to escape occupational stress and find constructive stress-busting outlets.

Embarking on a stress management program is an effective strategy to prevent mental distress from undermining your performance and talents. Usually, hospitals and healthcare facilities provide their employees with mental health support and counseling services. However, if that’s not the case, you can stage an individual intervention and seek treatment yourself.

3. Relaxation Techniques

Do you practice any breathing techniques or relaxation tricks to de-stress and calm yourself in stressful situations? Understandably, most medical professionals fail to prioritize their relaxation because their patients always take precedence.

So naturally, if the pain of a chronic patient is causing stress, you cannot leave the patient to practice mindfulness. But it’s essential to find a way to relax without compromising patient care and neglecting your responsibilities. So how can you do that?

It may seem challenging, but relaxing doesn’t take much, and everyone has their strategy to relax and unwind. For some, it’s a bubble bath with soothing Epsom salts and a tall glass of wine. Others rely on simple breathing exercises to calm their heart rate and feel relaxed. Of course, music helps, which is why many surgeons enjoy listening to Mozart while performing complex surgeries.

You can explore a wealth of strategies to de-stress your mind and body and feel relaxed and calm. For instance, you can take up yoga, start meditating or book yourself long and luxurious, full-body massages.

4. A Flexible Work Routine

Nothing is more significant and pressing than your health and wellbeing. You may feel proud and courageous sacrificing your wellbeing to help others, but you’re neglecting your family in the process. A healthy work-life balance is the cornerstone of successful relationships and healthy parenting. Don’t allow your job and passion as a healthcare professional to usurp other areas of your life.

Work towards demanding a flexible work routine from your employers. Don’t sign up for hours that you’re not comfortable working and protest schedules that disrupt your life. If your current employers don’t facilitate you, consider exploring other opportunities that will help you enjoy flexibility.

5. Social Support & Compassion

As a healthcare professional, you serve your community with love, care, compassion, and empathy. Are you getting the same privileges and support in return? Our inner circle of family, friends, colleagues, and loved ones helps us fight occupational stress with kindness and compassion.

Finding support at work and home can prove monumental in helping you de-stress and take better care of yourself. Sometimes, we need a little nudge to pay more attention to ourselves and realize the risks we’re ignoring.

Conclusion

Occupational stress shouldn’t be a natural consequence of your line of work. You can enjoy your profession and give your very best without combatting overwhelming bouts of stress. It all boils down to practicing mindfulness and taking care of yourself.

Author(s)