Thursday, February 2, 2023

How healthcare workers can relax when off duty

We all live in a stressful, busy world where jobs, family, and life admin take our attention and time, often leaving little left over for relaxation. But there are lots of ways we can build relaxation and rest into our lives by making small changes every day and leaning into our feelings, emotions, and triggers.

Healthcare workers are among the most stressed and overstretched people in the United States of America with long hours and high-pressure positions, but they can take advantage of relaxation techniques to bring balance back to their lives and ensure their physical and mental health is in good condition.

So, what relaxation methods could help?

Interact with others

We are social creatures at heart so getting out and meeting new people or spending time with your family and friends is a great way to decompress from work and rebalance your life.

Treat yourself

Book into your favorite beauty salon for a massage or facial, whatever makes you feel fabulous! Take yourself on a date, enjoy a good book, or hit the shops for some retail therapy.

Meditation

This is a great way to stay present in the moment and disconnect from a busy shift at work. There are plenty of apps to guide you through and don’t worry if you get distracted at first. It takes practice to focus.

Step away from tech

We all know the benefits of tech to stay connected, but it can have negative impacts on our mental health too. Stepping away and having tech-free time is a great way to relax, even if you have to schedule it in and leave your phone at home.

Get outdoors

Fresh air, surrounded by trees and flowers – getting outside and absorbing the natural surroundings has massive health benefits. Take a hike or stroll through the park – every little helps.

Focus on yourself

Feeling like you are hitting your personal and professional goals and progressing in life can help you feel more in control and relaxed. Working towards a degree like the UIndy accelerated BSN program can fit around your job and help you work towards your next professional goal.

Take a break

Taking a vacation is a great way to decompress, and even if a longer trip isn’t possible, a shorter local vacation or staycation (where you take leave but stay at home) can have great benefits to your short- and long-term health.

CBT

If you feel like professional support would be helpful, cognitive behavioral therapy can give you the skills to cope with stress and aid relaxation. As discussed in this 2015 article, “cognitive‐behavioral training, as well as mental and physical relaxation, all reduce stress moderately.” A course can be completed with a trained counselor, online, or self-learning through books.

Finally, remember to breathe. In a moment of stress, the best thing you can do is pause and take a few deep breaths to calm your mind and body!

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