Certified nursing assistants have challenging and demanding jobs. As a CNA, you must meet tight schedules while working on your feet all day. A constant sense of urgency can make it challenging to rest and decompress, leaving you prone to stress-related disease and fatigue. To combat these negative side effects, take some time to revitalize your mind and body. Check out our recommendations to keep refreshed and maintain your mental health while being alert and focused at work. Here are 5 mental health tips for CNAs.
1. Take Care of Yourself
Taking care of your physical health is an essential part of caring for your mental health. The first step is to prioritize rest. You should aim to get at least seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. A regular sleep pattern is essential for regulating your mood and rejuvenating your body.
Sleep disorders and poor sleep patterns are linked to irritability and depression. If you are overtired, your stress levels will increase, which can harm your mental health. In addition to maintaining a quality sleep schedule, it’s necessary to take regular breaks throughout your day, regardless of how hectic things might be.
2. Focus on Your Relationships
Working for days without a break can cause your relationships to deteriorate and lead to feelings of isolation. When you’re not in contact with the most important people in your life, it is easy to feel discouraged or make poor health decisions.
Regardless of how busy you are, seek emotional assistance. Friends and relatives can offer a lot of encouragement and laughter. Nothing improves your mood more than spending time with the people you love.
3. Avoid Unhealthy Coping Strategies
Today’s healthcare workers are under a significant amount of stress. It is vital to avoid turning to unhealthy coping strategies such as overconsumption of food or alcohol, becoming withdrawn, or lashing out at others to manage stress and emotions. These methods will negatively influence your emotional and physical well-being.
Healthy coping mechanisms such as exercising, spending time with family and friends, reading, and other activities you enjoy can help reduce stress.
4. Observe Your Emotional Energy
Everybody has days when they are worn out and lack energy, focus, or motivation. It’s essential to keep an eye on your emotional energy and mood. Everyday factors that affect your mood include:
- Insufficient sleep
- Exhaustion from overwork
- Lack of exercise
- Poor diet
Make an effort to set aside time each week for a self-check-in. If you start to notice that you’re continually down and exhausted, you should take a break. Think about taking a few days off or investing more time in therapeutic activities.
5. Seek Professional Help
The stigma associated with healthcare workers requesting help often prevents CNAs from seeking treatment. You should seek professional assistance if your job has generated stress and anxiety you can’t handle alone. Receiving the assistance you require is essential.
Keep in mind that it can be more difficult to care for others if you aren’t taking care of yourself. As a result of making self-care a priority, you’ll be a happier, more productive employee, and the patients you care for will also benefit.
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