Stress is a normal part of life for everyone and while some stress can be exciting (waiting to have a baby for example), prolonged stress can lead to a range of issues such as trouble sleeping and eating, as well as ongoing health problems including high blood pressure, depression or anxiety.
With so many people leaving the health and social care workforce due to stress and burnout, staff recruitment and retention are very real problems facing the health and social care sector at present.
Our evidenced based, person centred models of care are based on the importance of developing meaningful relationships and connections with our team and those we care for, that make us feel secure, and at home in ourselves. Nurturing these person-centred relationships is therefore key to sustaining individual well-being and developing an emotionally resilient culture of care.
Being person centred, learning to be yourself both at work and at home, allows you to connect person to person with those that you care for. This emotional labour does come at a cost for people who care for others. Now more than ever, we need to understand how to identify and manage stress. We need to care for ourselves, so we can continue to care for others.
So how can we look after ourselves? The self care toolbox illustration below outlines some really practical suggestions on looking after yourself and topping up your tank, so you can keep giving to those you care for.
It’s also important to be aware when you might also need some help. Sometimes when you’ve been under a great deal of stress, over a lengthy period you might need to talk to someone, particularly if you feel you’re not coping or feel overwhelmed. You could talk to your GP or even your employee assistance service/program, which many organisations have in place. Whatever you do, make sure you look after You, so you can keep looking after others too.