This year, it's more important than ever for you to be kind to yourself as a nurse or carer.
The coronavirus outbreak has turned our daily lives upside down, and frontline nurses and carers are particularly likely to be affected by the tragedy first-hand. In fact, 72% women working in health and social care report they've experienced a greater negative impact than usual on their mental wellbeing due to Covid.
If you're struggling, we've gathered this advice from the Mental Health Foundation to help you take care of yourself during this time...
1. Share your feelings
- Try to keep in touch with friends and family as much as you feel able to, to stay connected.
- If you can, find someone you feel comfortable being open with, such as a family member, friend or colleague, and honestly talk about how you're feeling.
- Working in a supportive environment is also key to maintaining your mental health, so if something is troubling you at work - share it. If you feel overwhelmed or uncertain, bring this up with a nurse in charge or manager.
2. Create a routine
- Create a daily routine that prioritises looking after yourself. Our post on mindfulness covers this a little further, and you can find tonnes more ideas for building your morning routine here.
- Separate your daytime schedule from your evening schedule and make time to unwind after a working day.
- Make an effort to maintain a consistent sleep pattern. If you are working night shifts, be sure to get enough sleep in the day - so you stay energised and alert during your working hours.
3. Keep active
- It is important to be active for at least 30 minutes of the day: this helps release feel-good chemicals endorphins, which gives you a positive mood-boost and brings down anxiety.
- Although your daily work duties may keep you active, it is important to get fresh air regularly and take breaks outside of the workplace or your home.
- It’s a good idea to go outside for walks, runs or other exercise where safe and if possible, so that you are changing your environment. You can also complete at-home workouts to ensure you are staying active.
4. Eat well
- Your physical and mental health are intrinsically linked.
- Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet is also key to how you feel throughout your day and contributes to your overall well being.
- Try to allow time for a healthy snack during your shift break, and stay hydrated throughout your shift.
For more guidance on looking after your mental health, find the Mental Health Foundation’s resources here.
We appreciate the incredible work you’re doing every day on the frontline of the coronavirus crisis.
Florence is continuing to work to keep you, residents and care homes protected from the spread of infection. If you are unsure, please see our guidelines on what we are doing to help all Florence users, as well as see our policy for nurses and carers to follow during this time.