Working in the world of healthcare can be extremely demanding, especially during a typically challenging winter period. Hospital wards are often overcrowded and busy leading to increased stress amongst doctors, nurses, and allied health professionals (AHPs).
Nutrix Personnel stands in solidarity with its dedicated professionals, offering support and guidance to help them navigate any additional pressures they may face. This Blue Monday, we recognise what is just another testing day for one's mental resilience and emphasise the importance of boosting the wellbeing of those who tirelessly care for others.
In this article, we’ve listed a few simple ways in which you can make the day a little easier and look after your mental health, even on one of the so-called bleakest days of the year.
Smile and Connect with Strangers
No matter your place of work, a simple smile can work wonders. Studies have shown that positive social interactions, even brief ones, release oxytocin—a hormone that promotes bonding and reduces stress. It has been proven time and time again that smiling is good for your health. It can lower blood pressure, reduce stress, increase your pain threshold, and even make you look younger.
Encourage a culture of shared smiles amongst your colleagues and patients this Blue Monday to improve your health and happiness. Remember though, just because someone is smiling on the outside, it doesn’t mean they’re content on the inside. That’s why it’s crucial to also connect with others and ask them how their day is going or if there’s anything they’d like to discuss. That way, you can be confident they truly are smiling for the right reasons.
Invigorate with Cold Showers or Baths
We appreciate it might be cold outside currently and a warm bath or shower can be extremely tempting but why not try combatting the winter blues with a revitalising cold shower or bath? Research suggests that exposure to cold water can increase alertness and relieve symptoms of depression by triggering the release of endorphins. Nutrix Personnel recommends incorporating this refreshing practice into daily routines to invigorate both body and mind.
Don’t worry, you can still enjoy a warm shower as usual but just give yourself a quick boost of one or two minutes under the cold water before you get out. It’ll help to boost your immunity against common colds, improve your circulation, and reduce inflammation and muscle soreness.
Embrace the Natural Light During Breaks
With demanding schedules, healthcare professionals often spend extended hours indoors. Advocate for spending breaks outdoors to absorb natural light, a crucial factor in mood regulation and maintaining a healthy sleep-wake cycle. Even brief moments in the sun can contribute to overall wellbeing.
To take this a step further, why not try adding exercise into the equation, for example a brisk walk. This way you’ll boost your mood in multiple ways and feel revitalised when you return from your break. It’s often difficult to find enough time in one’s day all these suggestions, so doubling up on them could be your key to a happy working life!
Digital Detox for Mental Rejuvenation
The prevalence of screen time and social media in healthcare professionals' lives can contribute to stress. Nutrix Personnel encourage periodic digital detoxes as studies show a correlation between excessive screen time and symptoms of anxiety and depression. Rather than turning to your phone during breaks, leave the screen behind and take in the outdoors or connect with a colleague.
Taking short breaks from technology promotes mental clarity and reduces mental fatigue. It’ll also help to improve your focus and put simply, give you more time to focus on your own wellbeing and health, rather than what others are posting online. Schedule in breaks throughout the day when you can turn away from the screen to better your mental wellbeing.
Practice Mindfulness and Meditation
Remaining present can be one of the most difficult things to accomplish today. Healthcare environments are often extremely fast-paced and before you know it, hours may have passed since you last stopped to catch your breath. Introduce mindfulness practices, such as deep breathing or brief meditation breaks into your daily schedule.
Studies indicate that mindfulness can improve mental health, reduce burnout, and enhance overall job satisfaction. Small moments of mindfulness can make a profound impact, so you only require a few minutes at a time throughout the day. By taking a moment to reset, you’ll feel mentally prepared to tackle a new challenge.
Take Control of your Wellbeing
This Blue Monday, Nutrix Personnel implore you to pay attention to your own wellbeing and find ways in which you can improve your mental and physical wellbeing. As a team, we’re committed to the wellbeing of our healthcare professionals. We recognise the challenges faced and will continue to offer these tips and suggestions as simple yet effective strategies to enhance your mental health.
Let today be a day in which we acknowledge our collective efforts of small changes. It’s never too late to transform your wellbeing and Nutrix Personnel is proud to play a role in the daily lives of those who devote themselves to caring for others.