Working in the care sector is extremely stressful for many reasons, and each role and responsibility can have its own pressures; physical, mental and professional. It’s unlikely that any care worker will find their role entirely stress-free, but there are things that can be done to help negate the effects of workplace intensity and tension. Here are a few tips on the best ways to manage care worker stress.
Why Is Stress A Problem?
It may sound like common sense, but a happy worker is an effective worker – people work better when they’re secure and clear-thinking.
People under undue levels of stress and duress often suffer from fatigue, confusion, a lack of mental comprehension and even physical symptoms such as headaches, chest pain, muscle soreness and dizziness. Not one of these is conducive to the clear mind and attitude required for effective and compassionate care work, nor a healthy, happy human being.
What Are The Best Ways To Manage Care Worker Stress?
It’s well known that care workers and other key-workers often find themselves working long shifts fraught with difficult situations, less-than-ideal working conditions and unexpected changes in practice or plans. Practising some self-care and investing time in yourself isn’t always easy when you’re constantly working under pressure, but there are ways it can be done.
Many consider regular exercise to be too much of a time commitment or too labour-intensive when they’re already overtired. However, even just a brisk walk each day can boost fitness levels and endorphin (happy hormone) levels.
Consider getting up earlier and taking a walk with a coffee to watch the sun come up, or pop on some headphones and walk without a plan for half an hour after work to build up hunger for your dinner. Try running, stretch out on your living room floor and find yoga and pilates tutorials online. Dance to your favourite song round the kitchen or just get off the bus one stop early and walk home. There are lots of ways to get in some exercise without having to spend any money, spend little time and little effort!
Well, you probably don’t need any more encouragement with this one! Make sure you’re able to get at least a few unbroken hours of sleep every night (or day, if you’re on nightshifts) by nailing down a bedtime routine with no screen-time, some wind-down time and no distractions.
Quality can often beat quantity when it comes to rest, so do what you can to really rest.
Care workers are often on-the-go and as a result rely on convenience and speed to facilitate their diet. However, eating healthily over quickly can have a huge benefit to both body and mind and so it’s worth investing time in if at all possible. Meal prepping on your days off can help save time and ensuring you always have healthy snacks to graze on in your car will prevent you from having to revert to fast food or unhealthy convenience snacks.
It is important that to stay mentally happy, everyone has an outlet to discuss their worries and anxieties – both work ones and otherwise. If you have a partner at home, or a friend or family member who you can trust to be open and honest and to give a fresh perspective, sit down and chat through anything bothering you with them.
If you have a professional problem, seek advice from your manager. It is always best to remain transparent with your communications than to be dishonest and let problems build.
Use Your Holiday Allowance
OUTT provides paid annual leave allowances and we encourage all of our staff to take full advantage of it! Take time for yourself away from the workplace, even if you’re not jetting off somewhere tropical or distant. Space – both physical and mental – from work is a good thing and can help you ‘reset’ your energy and attitude.
Registering with OUTT provides experienced social care candidates the opportunity to build an employer review base and take full control of where and when they work. It’s your life, live it! Register with us now!