If you are a seasoned nurse, I do not need to tell you that there is still a HUGE problem with workplace bullying, unsupportive work cultures, and extremely stressful work environments leading to a work-life unbalance. Not to mention the frustrations of for all our new nurses out there, the shear stress of nursing school, passing the NCLEX, and getting that first internship or job is stressful enough.
We are working within an improving yet still very broken healthcare system. Burnout seems to be a common theme in nursing. Getting over it takes inner strength, so preserving and maintaining our mental health is extremely important to both us and those we care for.
So, how do we strengthen our mental health and wellbeing?
Here are a few tips to strengthen Nurse Mental Health & Wellbeing
Connect with a Nurse Coach
A nurse coach will listen to you and meet you where you are in the state you are in. She/he will help guide you to accomplish your goals or overcome your barriers. Whether you are struggling or feeling stuck, having a nurse coach to help guide you is the perfect partnership.
Where do you find a nurse coach?
- Many, but not all facilities have nurse coaches, so just ask.
- Contact the Integrative Nurse Coaching Academy for possible connections.
- There happens to be a unique opportunity to get free nurse coaching sessions, as well.
- Many Nurse Coaches have a LinkedIn account. Simply type “Nurse Coach” in the search bar on Linked In and look for profiles that may have private practices that meet your needs. Make sure they are licensed to work in your state, either compact licensure or state licensure.
- Look at other social media platforms. Nurse coaches are marketing on platforms like Twitter and Facebook, but always vet a potential coach by verifying credentials, what they offer in coaching niche and coaching style to confirm a good fit. This is not 100% foolproof, but it is a good start.
Yes! Put it on your schedule seven days a week. It’s every bit as important as making sure your kids are fed and off to school, paying your bills, and taking care of your patients or anything else. You need to be wholly well in mind, body, spirit, and emotion to give your all.
Self-care is the “me time”, the “my personal health maintenance time”, or the “let go, regroup, and recharge time” if you will. It can be that silent moment in the morning while having a cup of coffee…. or taking a walk listening to sounds of nature or your favorite music… or (fill-in-the-blank). Whatever you do for self-care, do it every day.
As defined by Merriam-Webster “the practice of maintaining a nonjudgmental state of heightened or complete awareness of one’s thoughts, emotions, or experiences on a moment-to-moment basis”.
There are many benefits to practicing mindfulness like reducing anxiety and depression, lower blood pressure, improve sleep, and cope with pain. It helps you stay grounded…. and what nurse doesn’t need to be grounded in the present moment.
Mindfulness is just like any other skill…. It takes practice. If you would like to learn more about mindfulness meditation, then I highly recommend the course offering from the Integrative Nurse Coach® Academy; “Mindfulness Based Stillness Meditation for Nurses”.
Instill the Power of Positivity
Embracing a positive mindset allows a nurse to manage stress better, build resilience, and may even improve nurse mental health and physical health.
Through positive thinking, you can approach stressors or unpleasant situations in a more productive manner. Positivity strengthens our resilience.
So, how do you become more positive? There are quite a few things you can do, but I am all about writing in a gratitude journal. A 30-day gratitude challenge is a great way to start….and you can include others. What strategies can you think of to instill a positive mindset?
In conclusion, I will leave you with this link to brighten your day and say thank you fellow nurses. We are stronger together.
Please note: These tips do not cure a true mental health problem. Anxiety, depression, drug addiction, and suicide are known experiences that have come up too often with nurses and other healthcare professionals. Please keep in mind that it is Ok to ask for help or seek additional consultation and treatment from a medical practitioner should you have a concern.
Lisa is an adult wellness nurse in a family practice by day and a freelance health content writer by night….and Saturday morning. She is passionate about her career because she gets to do what makes her happy, help others and write.
Lisa is still actively involved with her INCA alumni and meets monthly with her cohorts and pursuing her board certification in Nurse Coaching.