The stress from the last few years has impacted everyone. You may be impacted if you are a healthcare professional, especially if you have been on the frontlines. It is essential to recognize the mental health impacts of working in healthcare. Healthline provides several tips for managing workplace anxiety. We’ve picked eight that apply especially to healthcare workers.
1. Understand what is triggering your anxiety.
To address the issue, it is crucial to understand what is triggering or causing it. For example, consider if a particular meeting, person, or other workplace situation ups your stress level.
2. Next, consider the root of this anxiety.
Once you’ve zeroed in on the situation, it might not be clear exactly what part of the scenario is to blame for the unwanted stress. Ask yourself a series of “what-if” questions to get to the root. For example, say you find your heart racing every time you speak with your manager. Keep asking yourself why this person causes this reaction in you until you‘ve pinpointed what is causing you all the anxiety.
3. Consider micro-breaks.
We get it. Even with the best intentions, working in healthcare sometimes means forgoing a regular lunch break. If you are frazzled, step away for a minute to take an intentional break. A method of breathing called box breathing may be helpful. Inhale for a count of 4, hold your breath for a count of 4, exhale for a count of four, and then hold again for a count of 4.
Listen to your body. If you notice you are more stressed before or after a shift, consider exercising before your shift or directly after to give yourself a boost of feel-good neurotransmitters, like endorphins.
5. Set Boundaries.
Maybe it’s your day off, and work is calling or texting for you to come in and pick up an extra shift. Remember, while there are good reasons to go in and pick up extra, you are still a great team player even if you aren’t constantly picking up all of your team’s slack. Time away is vital to recharge, and it is ok to say “no” to extra work.
6. Bring a comfort kit.
This may be as simple as a small fidget item you keep in your pocket to play with when you feel anxiety creeping in. Or, maybe you can bring in a piece of hard candy or a calming playlist you can tune into on a break. Consider something that will momentarily help ground you and take your mind off the cause of your stress.
7. Boost time away from work.
Ensure your time away from work is fulfilling. Consider what fills your cup up and do this on your time off. For example, maybe you enjoy gardening or going out to eat with friends. When you are off work, truly be off, and take the time to engage in self-care.
8. Be gentle with yourself.
Understand your feelings are valid. While you may feel self-critical about your feelings, recognize them and work to understand your reactions to workplace triggers.
Seek Help As Needed
While these are all tips to cope with workplace anxiety, it is important to understand that sometimes professional help is necessary. If you feel overwhelmed, consider reaching out to your healthcare provider for the next steps.
And if a change of scenery is what you need, consider helping other healthcare organizations through a healthcare staffing job. 365 Healthcare Staffing Services is a nationwide healthcare staffing company with openings for various healthcare positions for registered nurses, sterile technicians, medical assistants, and more. Check out their open positions to get started on a new contract position today!