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Manage Care Worker Stress

Manage Care Worker Stress

Care workers are key-workers and for perhaps the first time ever, the world is really beginning to appreciate just how important our roles are! The unsung heroes of the healthcare world, care workers suffer similar stresses to other healthcare professionals.

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.

Exercise regularly
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!

Sleep!
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.

Eat well
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.

Talk
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!

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Self Care When Working In Social Care

Self Care When Working In Social Care

Working in social care, you dedicate your career to looking after others and to improving their lives. This journey is rarely linear, nor easy. As a result, many of us find ourselves in stressful situations, working long hours and investing emotionally into our roles.

Working in any form of social care is demanding, and it is hard work. In order to remain a happy, healthy, well-balanced individual (and therefore a brilliant carer), you need to look after yourself too! Self care often gets ignored in those compassionate enough to take up professions looking after others, but needs to be acknowledged and practised regularly.

Stress as a result of working in social care

Exhaustion and fatigue don’t just stem from physical stress. Social care is often mentally and emotionally taxing – particularly when dealing with difficult or upsetting situations.

In order to avoid burnout and illness, it’s imperative that those working in social care look after their own mental and physical health as well as those they’re working with in a professional capacity. This goes for every type of support worker in every setting. Don’t assume that because a stress or a strain is more mental than physical that it’s not as important: it absolutely is.

How do you manage self care?

So you work in social care and realise that you need to do a little more to care for yourself. But where to start? Let us help guide you…

Stay healthy

Health often promotes happiness! Eat well and try to manage a balanced diet (even around crazy shifts and schedules!), and try to exercise when you can. This doesn’t necessarily need to be strenuous gym shifts or long runs – particularly when you’re on night shifts or back-to-backs – but can be walking in the fresh air or taking fifteen minutes to stretch out after a day at work.

Exercise promotes serotonin, the ‘happy hormone’, so is great to promote better wellbeing – and of course, keeps you healthier physically, too.

Take time out and time off

Social care is a sector in which it’s all too easy to get totally wrapped up in your work. Ensure that you use your holiday allowances fully, and use time off or away to completely remove yourself from your job.

Focus on you: you don’t need to travel anywhere exotic or indeed travel at all, but you do need some time to do what you like, rest and recoup a little.

Keep communicative

It’s important that you talk through your stresses, and remain open and honest through difficult or straining periods. This may be with your friends, family, a therapist or colleagues.

Although this may not always feel natural – and indeed you’ll probably have confidentiality clauses to remain mindful of – it’s critical that others around you understand any burdens you’re under and how you’re coping with them. There’s no shame in asking for help when you need it, and remaining open-minded to that fact even when you don’t.

Do things you enjoy!

Instagram would have you think that self care is all bubble baths and face masks, and it’s not just that… but that’s definitely part of it. Do activities you enjoy – reading, walking, yoga, lounging in the bath, watching Disney films, shopping, eating – whatever your ‘thing’ is, indulge in it. Whilst realistically doing the things you love should never be just a ‘treat’, working life often makes it so.

Enjoy the time you have doing what you love and try to make time for it whenever you can. It’ll boost your mood and give you a healthier work/life balance. Win-win!

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!

Social Care News

ADVICE
CAREERS
EMPLOYERS
COVID-19
INSIDE OUTT