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Supporting Your Mental Health

Tips and tricks to give yourself that extra little bit of self-care













Looking after your mental health cannot be promoted enough. It is a vital part of our lives and must always be taken into consideration no matter what. Working in healthcare is a difficult profession, and especially considering the climate of today, it is more important than ever to take the time to look after your mind.


Regardless of the work you might still have to get done, or the fact that you might feel you have no time for yourself – we ask you to stop and pause. It is a necessity to take the time to care for yourself, no matter how packed your schedule might be.


Issues such as burnout are plaguing many of the staff within the NHS. This was reinforced by a BMA survey, which found that 80% of the respondents were at high/very high risk of experiencing burnout. As well as this being detrimental for physical well-being, a huge toll is taken on mental health too. If it is not nipped in the bud, burnout can lead to severe consequences. This includes intense anxiety, depression, and even mental breakdown.


At Staffing Professionals, the health and wellbeing of our staff is a priority. We place huge value on ensuring that every individual is taken care of and feeling like their best self. We all have someone in our lives who has suffered with mental health issues, and our team aims to give all that is in our power to prevent these issues arising for our staff.


As they say, health is wealth. This statement could not be truer, and it’s important not to forget. The very purpose of working within healthcare is to care for others, but this cannot be done without caring for yourself first. Otherwise, you will have nothing left to give!


Despite what you might think, ‘self-care’ doesn’t always have to be taking three-hour long baths. Quite frankly, no one has time for that! In reality, there are lots of little ways that you can fit in some time for yourself. They might seem small, but they make difference. If maintained, a huge impact can be manifested in the way you feel day-to-day, both mentally and physically.


Here are a number of ways to fit in some self-care in your daily routine:


1. Diet


This one is always talked about and looking at this you might be thinking ‘here we go again’. However, there is a reason that a healthy balanced diet is repetitively promoted. Also, it doesn’t have to be as complicated as you might think.


Improving your diet can be very simple. When we say, ‘healthy diet’, this doesn’t always have to mean meal prepping or cooking up complex recipes. For some, this could simply mean packing an apple instead of a chocolate bar or swapping coco pops for porridge in the morning.


The main goal here is to remember that food is fuel for the body. In nourishing your body with more nutritious alternatives, you will feel better in boundless ways. In fact, 90% of the body’s serotonin (your happy hormone) is synthesized in the gut, and a healthy gut is provided as a result of a good diet. Essentially, this means that your happiness levels are directly linked to having a sufficient diet.


Therefore, before you decide to skip breakfast tomorrow, remember to think of the long-term effects! Having a good diet will really impact your life and support your ability to perform well in a busy schedule.


2. Quiet time


Taking a moment of peace for yourself each day is so important. It gives you that much needed dose of stress-relief and allows the opportunity for you to recover from the chaos of the day.


‘Quiet time’ comes in various forms and means something different to everyone. Here are a few examples of what it could mean for you:


- Taking a moment to watch your favourite television show

- Reading a few chapters of a book

- Sipping on a cup of tea in peace and quiet

- Enjoying your favourite snack

- A little pamper session, such as putting on a facemask before you go to bed

- Sitting outside and getting some fresh air


These are only a few examples of ‘quiet time’. Remember – this is individual to you, and ultimately just means taking a minute out of your day to give yourself a moment of reflection and peace.


3. Movement


Instead of using the dreaded word ‘exercise’, saying ‘movement’ sounds much less sinister. When thinking of exercise, we often cast our minds back to dreaded memories of hour-long, extensive workouts.


Despite exercise being invaluable, it doesn’t have to be as extreme as working out obsessively for hours and hours. Alternatively, what is more important and realistic, is simply remembering to implement movement, no matter how small, every day.


Here are a few examples of movement that anyone could fit in to their day:


- A six-minute stretch video

- A 15–20-minute home workout

- A brisk walk around your block

- A 30-minute run around the block (if you are feeling more energised!)

- A yoga video as soon as you wake up in the morning


Regardless of your schedule, there is an option for everyone. The key is to remember to move your body each day, regardless of how long or how intensely. Keeping things moving will help you stay energised, focused, and filled with good endorphins!


4. Self-talk – mindset is key!


Less talked about, but just as important - self-talk can be a huge decider for how you are feeling in yourself. Oftentimes, we get caught up in our thoughts and can disregard how we are talking to ourselves.


Everyone’s been there – we’ve all had moments of self-doubt and negative thoughts swimming through our minds. Having these moments can be detrimental to your self-esteem amongst many other factors. The impact of a negative mindset isn’t talked about enough!


Especially in a packed, chaotic schedule, it’s easy to be too hard on yourself. In times where you find that your mind is filled with unproductive thoughts, it can really help to reshape your mindset and practise positive self-talk.


For example, this could be by repeating mantras such as ‘I can do this’ or ‘everything is going to be okay’. It might seem silly; however, these affirmations might just provide you with the comfort and support that you need in times of stress.


Overall, everyone should aim to talk to themselves as they would a loved one. Remember – no one is perfect!


REMINDER – There should always be time for self-care. Whilst everyone has a different routine, practising self-care should be looked upon like brushing your teeth in the morning. It should always be done, regardless of the situation!



 


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