4 Ways Healthcare Workers Can Prioritize Their Well-being
Healthcare workers are vital in ensuring people receive the care they need. However, the demands of this profession are taxing and can take a toll on healthcare workers' own emotional, mental, and physical well-being. For this reason, over 30,000 healthcare employees across 76 community hospitals in the US reported that the experienced burnout and exhaustion in the last few years. Because these individuals contend with alarmingly high rates of anxiety, sleep disturbances, and stress, among others, it is imperative that they prioritize their well-being. Below, this article has listed four ways that healthcare workers can start doing so:
1. Consider planning your meals in advance.
As shared by a 2022 Nutrition and Dietetics report on Work site food purchases among healthcare staff', healthcare workers experience high rates of poor nutrition. In fact, over half of the nurses in the US have poor-quality diets and consume too few fruits and vegetables, underscoring the need to adopt healthier eating habits. One way you can eat better is by planning your meals in advance. First, incorporate foods that can increase your energy and physical endurance like oatmeal, eggs, and berries into your meals. You should also avoid using vending machines'which can be full of sugar and processed foods'and instead bring healthy snacks such as granola mixes and yogurt bowls. By doing so, you can nourish and fuel yourself without resorting to less savory and beneficial foods.
2. Squeeze in regular exercise
Physical activity is essential to bolster one 'swell-being. However, many healthcare workers often don't have the time to incorporate it into their everyday lives. A 2022 survey by Morning Consult revealed that 39% of individuals report that their exercise routine was compromised by their jobs. That said, a workout isn't required to be rigorous or time-consuming to be effective. For one, you can get in the daily exercise you need by walking to and from work. Getting your steps in while you outdoors also allow you to breathe in the fresh air and soak up some sun. Now, if you have time to spare and are the type who needs structured exercise routines, then you can opt to go to work out and fitness studios, too. We've partnered with ClassPass to provide clinicians with access to thousands of fitness studios. For as low as $3 a month, your membership can allow you to take different classes with various concentrations, styles, and class lengths, so you can definitely find something for you. Including these activities in your schedule can help boost your mental and physical well-being.
3. Incorporate ergonomics into the workspace
According to a 2020 Medical Positioning feature on The Importance of Ergonomics in Healthcare Facilities', ergonomics is crucial to adopt into workspaces. This is because high-quality ergonomics can help healthcare employees maintain comfortable and natural positions while artwork. For one, a guide by Pain Free Working explains that an ergonomic chair can help prevent straining in the back, neck, and shoulder area. This is especially important for nurses who are working from a desk for extended periods of time. By choosing a seat with superior lumbar support and backrest, employees can lessen instances of pain and injury and stay comfortable. Other ergonomics accessories like specially molded mice and keyboards are likewise ideal for minimizing wrist strain and improving your overall health.
4. Use meditation apps to decrease stress
Meditation is a great idea for self-care, particularly because the practice can promote rest and relaxation, reduce stress and anxiety, and sharpen focus. In addition, a daily meditation routine can boost blood flow to the heart and lower blood pressure. All these considered, using meditation apps is an easy and effective way to integrate the activity into your daily routine. In a Journal of Technology in Behavioral Science article, meditation apps such as Calm were found to improve work-related outcomes such as burnout, job strain, and secondary traumatic stress by increasing mindfulness in individuals. Healthcare workers can also explore different free online soundscapes and nature melodies that they can play while working.
As healthcare employees, your line of work can be extremely trying for your overall wellness. As such, it's important not to overlook your well-being. Hopefully, following the tips listed above can help you take better care of your health.