Why Healthcare Professionals Must Look After Their Mental Health

When thinking about looking after your health, you might not consider your mental health alongside that. It’s just as important, though, as it can affect every area of your life, from your work life to how much rest you get at night.

It’s especially important for healthcare professionals to consider how they are doing mentally. That’s because, with such a mentally demanding role, it is all too easy for them to let their mental health slide without realicing it. Unfortunately, that can lead to far more than a slightly stressful workday.

If you’re a healthcare worker, here is why it’s so important to look after your mental well-being.

To Show Up to Every Shift

Good mental health means you are more likely to take control of your day. Whether you have an early shift or a long one, with a more positive mindset, you are sure to show up and get the work done to the best of your ability.

It also means that those that choose their shifts (such as locum pharmacists, GPs, or nurses) will take on more work because they feel like they can manage it. So if you’re a locum healthcare worker, even using a shift-scheduling platform such as Workflare can help you gain more control over your day and, in turn, feel less stressed.

To Avoid Burnout

Burnout is all too common in the healthcare world. It happens when healthcare workers work too hard or too long, leading to a massive spike in stress. That can have catastrophic outcomes, such as compassion fatigue, skipping work, and a poor sense of worth. Eventually, it may even spill over into a person’s personal life.

Looking after your mental health is essential for avoiding burnout. Taking enough time to yourself and not taking on more shifts than you can manage is vital here.

To Provide Excellent Patient Care

Healthcare workers who don’t look after their own mental health are less likely to provide the best patient care they can. On the other hand, those who look after themselves mentally are better equipped to provide excellent patient care. That’s one of the reasons promoting good mental health is so crucial in the healthcare world – it impacts patients just as much as the staff.

To Stay Healthy

Mental health is essential for healthcare workers as it enables them to stay healthy, and what’s more important than good health? When looking after others, it’s just as important for healthcare workers to also look after themselves.

3 Tips for Looking After Your Mental Health

If you’re a healthcare worker, here are some changes you can make to look after your mental well-being:

  1. Focus on Physical Health

Eating a nutritious diet and exercising are proven to improve your mental health, so be sure to do both.

  1. Don’t Take on Too Much

Taking on a twelve-hour shift after already doing too much will only make you feel worse – know your limit and avoid going over it.

  1. Practice Self Care

Self-care habits such as taking breaks, journaling, and practicing meditation are all excellent ways of relaxing and promoting positive thoughts.

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Last Updated on November 3, 2022 by Marie Benz MD FAAD