Stress is a concern in nearly every job, but it can be especially prevalent in healthcare, with roughly half of the doctors and nurses in the United States showing symptoms of burnout. Since so many healthcare workers are struggling to care for patients and themselves, knowing how to manage stress in the workplace can help staff members give the proper time and attention to everyone under their care.
Here are some ideas to help you take care of your staff—and remind them to take care of themselves.
Create a serenity room
When healthcare staff need a break, they often need more than just a break room. Serenity rooms are a haven for employees. These rooms feature:
- Soft music
- Comfortable furniture
- Dim lighting
- Calming colors
- Food and beverages
Some healthcare organizations also include potted plants or a small garden, which provides staff a mental break by bringing a little of the outdoors inside.
Talk it out
Patient care—especially when tending for the very ill or dying—is so stressful that it can lead to mental health concerns, including post-traumatic stress. Giving employees someone to talk to, whether a hospital chaplain, a peer or a mental health professional, can help staff members better handle mental fatigue.
Teach them to breathe
When you’re learning how to manage stress in the workplace, sometimes stress reduction can be as simple as reminding someone to take the time to stop, take a deep breath and relax. You can also teach caregivers this mindfulness breathing technique to encourage them to slow down, if only for a few minutes:
- Choose a quiet spot to sit.
- Close your eyes.
- Take normal, regular breaths.
- Focus on the feeling of breathing, like the air entering and exiting your nose or the feel of your chest rising and falling.
- Release any outside thoughts for 5-20 minutes while you continue to breathe.
- Once you’re done, take a moment to enjoy the feeling of calm.
Craft a class or activity
Offering classes or activities at your healthcare office can encourage staff to relax and decompress, both of which will help bring stress levels down. Some fun ideas include:
You can also create groups that focus on healthy eating, journaling or even coloring to give employees an extra opportunity to de-stress. Offer them health promotional items, like adult coloring books, a yoga mat or a journal, as an incentive to join a group.
Help keep stress levels low
Managing stress in the healthcare field will help your staff avoid burnout. Give them time for self-care so they can:
- Have a few minutes to breathe.
- Take a class with other staff members or take time to journal or color to destress.
- Spend time in a serenity room.
- Talk to someone about what’s bothering them.
Providing your team with opportunities and techniques to stay healthy will let them know how much you care.