If you are a locum tenens NNP, you are no stranger to the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has created. From working longer hours, to the risks associated with traveling and spending time in a healthcare facility, there are several reasons you may be feeling panicked, anxious, or even depressed. It is important to remember that you are not alone. In fact, countries that have been battling coronavirus longer than the United States have reported higher instances of anxiety, insomnia, and depression among healthcare workers. Let’s review a few things you can do to to help improve your mental health and keep yourself safe as a locum tenens neonatal nurse practitioner during the COVID-19 pandemic
1. Make Your Mental Health a Top Priority
As a healthcare worker, you give a lot of yourself to your patients. A large part of your time and energy is spent making sure your patients are as happy and healthy as possible. But it is important to remember to take care of yourself and prioritize your own mental health above all else. If you are feeling anxious or depressed, you may not be able to provide the high level of care you wish to give your patients. Here are a few ways you can make sure to prioritize your mental health during COVID-19:
- Seek Counseling- Speaking to an experienced counselor can help you manage your stress and anxiety. Many therapists are offering telehealth counseling sessions for everyone’s safety.
- Virtually Socialize- Don’t forget to connect with friends and family! FaceTime, Zoom, text, and call your friends and family members to stay in touch and maintain some sense of normalcy.
- Exercise and Eat Healthfully- Taking care of your physical health has major benefits for your mental health. Even just 30 minutes of walking 3x per week can lead to massive improvements in your overall mental health.
- Turn Off the News- While it is important to stay up to date and informed, you don’t need to have a constant stream of news and updates all day long. News cycles and headlines are meant to be emotionally charged so that you are more likely to click an article or watch a video. This can increase your anxiety and cause unnecessary stress. Check-in with the world once or twice per day, and then let it rest.
2. Seek Support
Be sure to communicate regularly with your colleagues and locum tenens company about how you are feeling and what you are experiencing. Your coworkers understand what you are going through more than anyone, so try not to isolate yourself. Also, remember that this isn’t an excuse to complain non-stop. But share your experience, ask for advice or just a listening ear, and of course, offer the same to your coworkers as well. A sense of camaraderie will go a long way in protecting and improving your mental health.
3. Advocate for Yourself
If you feel as though you or your coworkers are working in unsafe conditions or not receiving the support you need, be sure to speak up for yourself. Reach out to your locum tenens company to help you get the support you need.
Maintaining your health and happiness during these unprecedented times is important. Neonatal Nurse Practitioner Services of Georgia is committed to providing an excellent level of support to our NNPs during this difficult time. To learn more about NNPS of Georgia, contact us today.