Mental health is crucial for all professions! But right now, health professionals, such as nurses and doctors, are experiencing a huge amount of stress and anxiety. Post COVID, there’s a real need to take a fresh look at EAP counseling for nurses in 2020, and make sure those taking care of us are taken care of too.
Take Sarah for instance. Sarah traveled from her hometown in the midwest to care for patients in New York City during the first wave of COVID in NYC. While she’s proud to serve her patients, she’s under a lot of stress every day. With excruciatingly long shifts, spent on her feet the entire time wearing cumbersome personal protective equipment all day, her body is taking a toll. With that physical stress comes mental stress too. She worries not only for patients’ health, but hers as well! Plus she worries about bringing illness home to her loved ones.
Her days begin with ever rising stats — seeing the number of COVID cases rise each day, the number who are now on ventilators (or in need of ventilators), and sadly, the number that have passed away. After this sad start, she also learns how many of her coworkers have tested positive for the virus, or are quarantining because they’ve been exposed. Through all this, she chooses to stay and care for her patients. She is burnt out, afraid, depressed and anxious every day, but she chooses to stay because it’s what she feels is right. She is mentally and emotionally exhausted, and has had to distance herself from her patients in order to get through the days.
Front line nurses experience a variety of mental health challenges on a daily basis. These mental health challenges warrant attention via nurse psychotherapy — and those services should be available 24/7 for our nurses. That way they can take care of themselves — just like they take care of everyone else.
Mental Health Help for Nurses
With the rising number of cases of COVID, this season has been one of unprecedented fear and stress for all professions. But nurses and healthcare professionals have had to risk the most, work the hardest, and look the closest at the devastation occurring across America. Nurses are at a high risk for mental health issues right now, so it’s important to make sure Employee assistance counseling is available for them!
If stress, anxiety, fear, contemplation or a depressed mood is interfering with your ability to perform your job:
- Contact your EAP. If your organization does not have an EAP, or your EAP is lacking call +1 (800) 556-2950.
- Take advantage of your telemental health options
- EAPs offer confidential services, connecting you directly to a counselor. No need to worry about awkward conversations with your superiors.
- EAP counselors are available anytime, anywhere. No matter your schedule, you’ll be able to connect with a professional.
- A wide variety of EAP counseling services available via telemental health means that you can connect with a counselor that has experience with your field of work and the specific problems you encounter.
- Turn handwashing into self-help breaks
- Take a lap of the department at 1-minute intervals where you can focus on controlled breathing exercises.
- Start or end your day with movement — try walking to or from work or practicing yoga before your shift begins (even if it’s just for 5 minutes).
How to Handle Stress at Home
- Get at least 7 hours of sleep
- Start and end your day with reflections of gratitude
- Read 5 minutes of uplifting stories
- Focus on things you CAN control
- Be kind to yourself, no one is perfect
- Exercise, even a 10-minute walk or bike ride can really change your mood
- Drink at least 8 eight-ounce glasses of water each day
- Eat light and often
- Limit depressants like alcohol
- Stay connected to family electronically
- Begin a hobby
- Limit COVID news and updates
- Practice mindfulness
- Compose a journal where you can write down 3 things you are grateful for everyday
- Start virtual yoga, and guided meditation
Need support? Try our EAP counseling services — we’re offering six months free, so you can try all we have to offer on our virtual portal, risk free. Experience live mental health sessions with our talented practitioners, anytime you need them. Enjoy virtual yoga, guided meditation, massage instruction and personal training to keep your mental health in check year round. Think you don’t have time for any of those services? Check our online portal where we have over 200 videos of our practitioners leading you through stress relieving, calming, rejuvenating sessions! Starting at just 2 minutes, you can fit these into even the busiest day.