The stigma around mental health is slowly being broken down, but the fact remains that stress and poor mental health is one of the biggest public health challenges faced in the UK. Particularly for those working in the NHS, managing stress is crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Left unchecked, stress can result in a number of exacerbated health issues, both physical and mental.
April has been recognised as National Stress Awareness Month to bring attention to the negative impacts of stress since 1992 as well as cultivate an open space for discussion on stress, particularly in the workplace. Working in the healthcare sector can make managing stress even more difficult, owing to irregular schedules, high-tensity work situations, and the general burnout that is common among healthcare professionals.
Managing Stress while working in the NHS
Managing stress is always easier said than done, but there are a number of coping mechanisms that can be incorporated into even the most hectic of days:
- Be communicative with your colleagues and team: Chances of burnout drastically increase when individuals aren’t honest about their stress levels. Within a professional setting, cultivating an environment of transparency can make all the difference in ensuring that you and your team are able to manage your workloads sustainably.
- Integrate mini-breaks where possible: Learning to incorporate small moments of mindfulness, meditation, and deep breathing into your daily routine can seem difficult at first, but building it in as a non-negotiable can help more than you think. Whether you choose to pursue a few minutes of meditation every couple hours, or insist on taking a walk during lunch time, there are a number of mechanisms that can help keep stress at bay.
- Prioritise stress management outside of the workplace: Doing things for yourself outside of the workplace can have a tangible impact on stress levels at work. Prioritising exercise, diet, and sleep when possible can help contribute to an overall healthier state of being.
Many things contribute to stress and burnout, and while most factors are out of an individual’s control, taking steps to manage the problem through small changes can make a sizeable difference. You can read more about stress management as a healthcare professional here, or visit the Stress Management Society’s website to learn more about Stress Awareness Month.
Visit Remedium’s website for more advice on working as a healthcare professional within the NHS, and follow us on Linkedin to stay up-to-date with all the latest trends and developments taking place in the UK healthcare sector.