Bluestones Medical

Self-care and Mindfulness for nurses.

Nursing is an incredibly rewarding yet demanding profession. The long hours, high stress, and emotional toll can take a significant toll on nurses’ mental health and wellbeing. That’s why prioritizing self-care and mental wellness is so important for nurses to avoid burnout and compassion fatigue.

Making small efforts to care for yourself each day provides huge benefits all around. Here are some tips for nurses to maintain their mental health:

  • Take breaks, a brief 5-10 minutes to eat and drink water. Get some fresh air. 
  • Prioritize 7-9 hours of sleep per night, quality rest boosts resilience.
  • Eat nutritious meals and stay hydrated. Food fuels the body and mind.
  • Engage in regular exercise like yoga, walking, or strength training to reduce stress.
  • Pursue relaxing hobbies like reading, baking, gardening or art. Make time for enjoyment.
  • Set boundaries and leave work matters at work. Don’t dwell on difficulties.
  • If needed, speak to a therapist or counsellor about job-related struggles.
  • Lean on trusted friends, family or colleagues for support during difficult times.
  • Take mental health days from work when you need a break. Don’t feel guilty.

Why is self-care so important for nurses?

  • Prevents medical errors – Nurses who are mentally unwell, burnt out, or exhausted are at higher risk of making errors that negatively impact patient safety. Promoting nurse wellbeing helps patients safe.
  • Maintains compassion – Nurses deal with trauma, grief, and stressful situations daily. Proper self-care prevents compassion fatigue and helps them continue to empathize with patients.
  • Protects mental health – Nurses have higher rates of depression, anxiety, PTSD, and suicide compared to the public due to job strain. Wellness practices protect their mental health.
  • Improves workplace culture – Prioritizing mental health reduces stigma and creates a supportive work culture where nurses can openly discuss struggles.

Make self-care a priority. Nurses are the backbone of our healthcare system, working tirelessly to care for patients and save lives. However, while nurses devote themselves to caring for others, Their own mental health struggles often go unaddressed. Nurses are vulnerable to a range of metal health issues due to the immense emotional toll of the job.

Its time we bring awareness to this mental health crisis in the nursing profession. Here are some statistics:

– 18% of nurses experience depression, almost double the rate of the general public. Anxiety affects around 40% of nurses

– 20% of nurses may have PTSD from trauma exposure of the job- much higher than the 3.5% in the general population

– The female nurse suicide rate is 11.97% per 100,000, compared to 7.58% per 100,000 among women overall.

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