Stress Awareness Month
At one time or another, everyone has experienced stress. It is not always easy to define but you know it when you have it. Even the word stress is not always appropriate. Sometimes it’s called compassion fatigue or even moral injury when referencing stress related issues among healthcare workers. Frontline healthcare professionals are faced with sickness, pain, death and sorrow on a regular basis. On top of that add pressure to do more in less time. This often conflicts with the desire to provide the best care for patients.
So how do you know if you are “stressed out”? To borrow a line from comedian Jeff Foxworthy, “You might be a … stressed out healthcare worker if…”
You have difficulty concentrating
You are bottling up your emotions
You are having panic attacks
You dread going to work
You isolate yourself from others
Here are a few things you can do to de-stress.
De-clutter – During times of stress simplify your life as much as possible. Don’t take on any new challenges during those times.
Debrief – Talk things out with other people you trust. Sometimes just saying things out loud make will make you feel better and even see things in a different light.
Develop healthy habits – Particularly during stressful times you want to practice healthy habits such as getting plenty of sleep, eating a healthy diet, drink plenty of water and exercise a little. You should also take care of your emotional life as well by spending time with family and friends. Have a life outside of your workplace.
Delegate – You should delegate what you can when you feel overwhelmed by work or life. You can’t and you shouldn’t delegate everything but it is good to take a few things off your plate when you are stressed.
April is stress awareness month which makes right now the perfect opportunity to take inventory of your stress level. If you feel that stress is negatively affecting your life, take action right away.