Looking after yourself is often the first thing to fall by the wayside when you’re stressed; with poor diet, poor sleep hygiene, exhaustion, dehydration and illness often piling up.
Feeling comfortable and confident in your own skin can help you approach situations in a more positive way, boost your concentration, patience and stamina.
Looking after your body can significantly improve your ability to handle stress.
What goes in and why?
We all know a balanced diet is key to a happy healthy life but toxins such as caffeine, alcohol, smoking and junk food easily creep in when we’re stressed. It’s easy to explain away the odd lapse but remember to focus on your diet and where possible, to eat at least five fruit and vegetables per day
The Mediterranean diet is apparently the healthiest diet – not always possible when you are stuck at work with a microwave and ready meal as your catering provision of course.
How much are you drinking – no, really? Are you using it to unwind after a stressful day? Could it have become a problem for you and your family?
Do you take exercise to help you relive stress? This does not mean the eight miles you walked today on a safari round, but exercise you deliberately take to help you relax and feel alive again, done for your own wellbeing.
Rest and relaxation
Do you set time aside for you to just relax and unwind? When you work many hours it is often the case that you also rush about when you are not at work, to get vital things done, but also to keep up with demands on your time from friends family. Doing nothing or deliberately planning activity which you will enjoy and allows you to switch off from work is good for you – allow yourself some fun and time to just be.
Breaks at work
It can be difficult to protect yourself from the constant demands made on your time at work and ensure you do take a break, some will work on through to try and make sure they leave on time, and still finish late.
Taking a break, even for a short time, can refresh you enough to lead to more efficient working – you may even leave earlier!
Tips for achieving natural breaks on the wards
- Set yourself a time to take a break at the beginning of each shift and be as strict as possible in sticking to it – it helps you stay motivated
- If you’re mostly ward based let the sister in charge know when you’re taking a break. Believe it or not this will save you a lot of bleeps!
- Seize the moment if you reach a natural hiatus
- Caffeine levels for almost every drink on the market as well as tips and hints for cutting consumption
- Simple, accurate alcohol unit calculator