A recent survey highlights the number one trigger for an unhappy Aged Care worker is “Workplace Stress”, time to deal with it

Under pressure? Workplace Stress, Deal With It.

Emotional challenges, physical challenges, shift work, work-place relationships – some of the factors that lead to stress for health care professionals. And these are only the personal influences.

When you focus on the pragmatics of the job it’s a wonder any health care professional can ever chill. The pressures of the job are constant, and require constant attention.

Keeping adept of your own skills development plus the ever-changing industry policies takes incredible energy. Oh, then there’s the actual, literal physical challenges of the job.

Add to that, resident care – like a little bonus stress-package. Keeping on top of their medication, exercise, sleeping, and eating, can be like having a constant deadline – with no possible extension. Journalists and accountants don’t even come close to understanding these deadline pressures!

Stressed just thinking about it?

A 2015 study showed the top five work place triggers for an unhappy in Aged Care worker are:

1. Workplace stress
2. Conflict with colleague
3. Conflict with manager
4. Alleged bullying
5. Loss of confidence

Workplace stress at number one is no surprise, and, can actually feed into a lot of the other contributions to the list.
The potential of conflict in the Health Care Industry, for instance, could be exponential to the stress placed on each individual worker. The pressure to manage relationships is far greater than many other industries.

Working in the health care sector requires managing several relationships. You have relationships with residents and their families, carers and other health professionals – employees, employers/managers – as well as the suffering shift work can place on personal relationships in individuals’ lives.

All require careful management, and all seedlings for stress.

So let’s deal with it.

5 ways to deal with workplace stress:

1. Identify
Identify what the triggers are. Feeling stressed? Write it down. Formulate a list of the identifiable stress-triggers and strategise ways to avoid or correct these environments. Be pro-active on this. Even if you can’t change every situation, doing nothing actually leads to more stress.

2. Don’t take it personally
Stress breeds sensitivity. And sensitivity breeds an environment for more stress. When you’re feeling as though a situation is directed at hurting you, try and focus your attentions away from how you fit in the situation, and look at it as a whole scene. Be aware of the ‘spotlight effect’ and remind yourself that it might only be about you because you are focused on you. By removing yourself from the spotlight, you can give yourself a chance to de-stress in the wings.

3. Open up and say, “Ah – I’m stressed”
If you’re feeling stressed, or unable to focus on work talk about it. You don’t have to speak to someone within the organisation, even talking things through with a friend or family member can alleviate stress. Holding things in can lead to anxiety, emotional exhaustion, even low-immunity has been linked to repressing emotions.

4. Bust out some moves for stress-busting results
Relaxation and exercise should be priorities. Regular exercise will not only build strength, physically lightening your work, but it can combat and relieve stress. Build a 10minute walk into your day, a couple of minutes meditation, a dance in your living room or even a few star jumps, regularly releasing endorphins will bust your stress for good.

5. Make a gratitude list
Sounds trite. But this works. Stress leads to negative thought cycles. The only way to bump them off is insert positive thoughts – which is harder to execute in the moment, but by stopping and picking up a pen, for one, you have stopped the cycle by physically doing something. And two, when you start writing lists you’re re-focusing for an extended period. Write down 5 things you are appreciative of in that moment/day/week. Watch the stress fade.

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