As we set our clocks back and approach the last few months of 2021, many people are experiencing burnout, and not just from the pandemic. Some work environments aren’t easy to decompress from at the end of the day or week: especially for healthcare professionals.
Between COVID-19 burnout and the normal pressures of work, healthcare professionals face a substantial amount of stress. Even prior to the pandemic, nurses and other healthcare professionals were experiencing high levels of anxiety, depression, and burnout. Since the start of the pandemic, that mental health crisis has gotten worse.
A recent Vivian survey noted that 72% of healthcare professionals reported morale has declined in their hospital or healthcare facility since this time last year and more nurses than ever are considering leaving the healthcare industry. As we near winter, seasonal flu and COVID-19 spikes could worsen all of these issues for healthcare workers. It’s more important now than ever to address the issues facing essential workers so they can thrive personally and professionally.
Operation Happy Nurse
Nurses and all healthcare professionals struggle with stress, anxiety, and overall mental health. A national survey conducted by Operation Happy Nurse in 2018 found that “roughly 90% of nurses surveyed have experienced anxiety and depression associated with their nursing careers.” That was pre-pandemic.
In 2019, Operation Happy Nurse was launched to help healthcare professionals with mental health issues. They provide a community focused on improving overall physical and mental health and wellbeing for nurses. Check out this introduction to what Operation Happy Nurse does with founder, Shannon McPeek, RN.
Operation Happy Nurse has a wide variety of offerings to help all nurses feel supported. There’s a book club, discussion board, and monthly playlists among other things. The Podcast, Happy Hour with Operation Happy Nurse openly discusses mental health and tools to help members of the healthcare community. Their resources are free to nurses in the U.S. regardless of location, tenure, or specialty.
Autumn is the season to take a moment and breathe. It’s the perfect time for a new structure or a new routine. Children go back to school, the weather changes, and physically, we all prepare for hibernation – or at least a nap after a Halloween candy binge or big Thanksgiving dinner!
Fall brings out the natural tendencies to slow down and that’s exactly what healthcare professionals need to try and do now. Here are a few of our favorite acts of fall self-care to try.
- Declutter: Organizing your closet or pantry has a multitude of benefits for you and others. Multiple studies have shown that decluttering can reduce stress and anxiety as well as boost productivity and creativity. It also opens up your space for rest and relaxation!
- Cozy up: After clearing out the old, try on something comfortable. The fall season brings comfy clothes to the forefront of your closet. A sweatshirt or pair of slippers might set a relaxing tone to an otherwise dreary day.
- Couch time: Another great pastime for bad weather is to cuddle up and decompress with a good book or tv show. It can be the perfect way to unwind after a long week. Let yourself become absorbed by someone else's story for a few hours while snuggling under your favorite blanket.
- Meditate: Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years. The purpose is to produce a state of relaxation. It’s a great way to organize your thoughts and let some of them go, allowing you to fall asleep.
- Get ready for bedtime: If you are having trouble falling asleep consider a warm foot bath or cup of caffeine-free tea before turning in. Leave your phone out of your bedroom as a matter of self-care; it can help you wind down for bed.
Self-Care for Healthcare Professionals
As the autumn leaves change and fall to the ground, it’s time to slow down and take care of you. It can be difficult to shut out all the pressures and find work/life balance during these times. But just remember, you spend your career caring for others, so you need to care for yourself too! Take a moment to focus on yourself this season so you can return to your patients rested and recharged.
If you're looking for your next assignment, our recruiting team can help. As a healthcare professional, you make an incredible difference in communities across the country. Supplemental Health Care is here to connect you to the healthcare jobs you want and support you every step of the way. Contact us today to learn more about how SHC cares.