As new nurses and midwives, it’s easy to neglect your health and wellbeing. If you don’t look after yourself, you are likely to end up burnt out and may turn to unhealthy ways of coping. That’s why is important to start healthy habits now.
The team at the Nursing and Midwifery Health Program Victoria (NHMPV) know this all too well when they see distressed nurses and midwives, unable to cope with the pressures of the profession.
NHMPV provides free, confidential and independent support service for nurses, midwives and nursing/midwifery students who have sensitive health issues related to their substance use and/or mental health impairment.
It is staffed by nurses and midwives who understand the demands of the profession and the transition from student to practising nurse/midwife.
Here are their easy activities for you to incorporate into your life:
- be kind to yourself, set achievable and realistic expectations to your level of experience
- plan and get sleep, or nap when you can – something is better than nothing
- pre-plan meals, clothes and other prep
- schedule exercise and movement – you can exercise anywhere through online fitness apps or classes, such as Fitness Blender
- head outdoors – fresh air and a bit of sunshine are important
- schedule and take ‘me time’ – do some personal training or get a massage, go to a museum, etc. There are so many things you can do to clear you head
- practice saying ‘no’ – speak up if you are taking on too much at work and home
- stay connected with your family, friends and interests
- get connected with your colleagues, peers, mentors
- use a mood diary
- practice yoga or pilates
- practice mindfulness – there are many free apps you can use
- set yourself a 30 day challenge to achieve a new goal – it could be 30 days of gratitude
- volunteer your time to a passion – it could be nursing-related or something different
- take up a new hobby – have you ever wanted to learn a new skill, like another language or musical instrument?
- develop a routine to separate yourself from work to switch off your shift
- practice ‘compassion satisfaction’ and document your successes
- plan your first (then your next) annual leave
- identify informal & formal supports in:
- family and friends
- colleagues, peers, mentors
- Clinical supervisor
- NMHPV, Beyond Blue.
Get help if you need help
It’s not a sign of weakness to ask for help. You can contact NMHPV at 9415 7551 and ANMF at 9275 9333.