Our environment is sometimes hard to change, such as the hospital as it is, but we do have some influence over our home, our family, friends, social life and leisure environments.
Within each context we can develop habits, skills and behaviours to make a happy, healthy, productive and safe self. Even at work you can get involved in trying to change things for the better and reduce the stress you experience there. Our clinical work is, however, often traumatic in terms of things we see and even smell. Can you make your home environment an antidote to the stresses of work.
Awareness – consider the whole picture of your life and do not allow certain aspects to dominate your thinking and feelings.
Creating a calm environment where you are able. Can you de-clutter any aspect of your life? Would a life laundry be a useful investment of your valuable time?
Can you make your environment more calming and soothing, for you. Photos, music, even lovely smells to cancel out the traumas you encounter at work. Keeping a pet can be difficult when you work full time, but could this be an option for you?
Are there stresses such as finances that you could tackle differently? Have you over stretched yourself and put pressure on your self? Help is often available – Your employee assistance programme, or maybe citizens advice – don’t let things get out of hand.
Family and friends – Nurture your relationships with friends and family Make time for these people who are so critical in caring for you. Ask for help if you need it, do not suffer in silence.
Identify who you can count on in a crisis, who can be a safety net and support network for you and let them know how much you value them.
Leisure and pleasure – plan to make time for these, even in your busy work schedule and difficult rotas, make sure you have some things planned to use your free time to have fun and relax. When life is especially hard, these stepping stones of fun and escape are often critical for survival.
Get involved at work to make things better for yourself. If you value yourself and speak out about things that could be better for you, then others will benefit too and things can change. It feels so much better to take some control of things rather than having this done to you.