It is believed that health and illness exist on a continuum. Rather than being either healthy or ill, individuals progress along a continuum from healthiness to illness and back again. Health psychology also maintains that the mind and body interact. It sees psychological factors as not only possible consequences of illness (after all, being ill can be depressing), but as contributing to all the stages of health, from full healthiness to illness. ("Health Psychology", n.d.).
Stress is a common response to the responsibilities and demands of care giving and in a health care setting staff can be at a high risk of mental and physical health problems. Quite often when feeling stressed we will get a headache, lose our appetite or feel nauseous. We can suffer fatigue, insomnia, depression or feel angry and unable to cope. It is important to be able to identify some of the triggers that may cause either our staff or us to experience a higher stress level. Some of these triggers can be caused by a lack of clear direction, unrealistic demands from superiors or relationship problems either in the workplace or home.
A very helpful tool is a formal self-care plan. As health care providers we write care plans for each of our residents so why not write a personal one which will help to point out when a where triggers are likely to occur and options for avoiding them. There are certain considerations to make when writing a self-care plan such as what is reasonable and realistic? How much time and effort can you give to specific tasks and what assistance and support is available to you?
A good “burnout buster” care plan should include;
• My stress triggers
• How can I reduce stress?
• Sources for support
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