Whether you're a carer for the elderly or work with extremely vulnerable young adults, encountering emotionally stressful situations at some point in your career is unavoidable.
Health and social care is certainly not the only industry which carries high risk of stress and anxiety. But we have to acknowledge the deep involvement of human emotion that is carried by people who work in this sector. And if they're not careful, then their own well-being is at risk.
According to a 2014 study from the US
, at least 69% of health care workers reported signs or feelings of stress, followed by a further 17% feeling high to severe levels of stress. In the UK, mental health is only recently been receiving the appropriate attention it deserves.
So how do you keep calm during stressful situations? Well, in this blog post, we'll be addressing 5 simple ways to help you manage, work with or in the best case, totally eliminate signs of stress while working in health and social care.
1. Talk About It
Stress should never be bottled up. And speaking to someone, whether it may be family member, a loved one or a close friend, can make a huge difference.
You'll feel much lighter and, more importantly, much calmer.
People who work in health and social will come across scenarios which can be quite traumatic. They'll be speaking to people who will be considering to take their own life. Or one of their elderly patients, with whom they've built a trust or respect, have passed on.
Each of these experiences are traumatic in their own sense. So talk about it, write it down, allow it to process. It is the first, and most crucial step, towards becoming calmer and learning how to keep calm in the future.
2. Use Chaos Around You to Keep Calm
A highly unusual method has been introduced by Assistant Professor Elena Capella, the director of a well known online nursing program from the School of Nursing in San Francisco, according to the Huffington Post
Capella swears by a method labelled as the 'chaos theory', encouraging her students to cope with emotionally demanding situations by simplifying the complexity in the surrounding environment.
Similar to relaxation techniques, the Chaos Theory teaches us to break down a situation in detail and realise the simplicity behind it's complexity.
3. Take Control While Accepting the Unchangeable
We need to accept events which are humanly impossible to change. Especially in an ever so volatile industry like health and social care. Temporary change is a common factor in a worker's life. You must learn to accept factors which you may not necessarily have control over.
So it is really important for you to know what you can and can't control. To give you an example, you won't be able to control a mental health patient's sudden aggressive outburst. But you can control how to react appropriately in a calm and assertive manner.
4. Mindfulness - A Deep Stress Reducer
A 2014 study
has shown that practising mindfulness can have a positive impact on health care workers. Originating from the concepts of Buddhism, mindfulness teaches it's students to magnify their senses by using simplistic breathing techniques.
And it also teaches to you to be more self-aware of your thoughts and feelings. Whilst pinpointing towards any trigger points that could cause stress or anxiety.
Already prominent amongst executives and CEOs, mindfulness has gradually entered the mainstream stress reduction circle adapted by many different industries as a whole.
5. Prioritise a Healthy Lifestyle
Yes, our careers are important. Yes, we must do our jobs with passion and integrity, but not at the expense of our physical and mental health.
With extremely long hours, not to mention a hectic working environment, health care workers often neglect parts of their lifestyle such as diet, physical activity and essential rest.
Similarly to an athlete's life, training without resting can be counterproductive to the body. And a health and social care workers who never takes the time to look after themselves will never be able to deliver the best possible care.
Thanks for reading. Do you have any personal advice on managing stress within the health and social care industry or any other industries? Please let us know in the comments section below if you have any thoughts on how to keep calm.
Featured image: Pexels