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9 Ways Rehabilitation Nurses can Maintain a Healthy Well-Being

This Nurses Month (May 1-31), we are celebrating the incredible work our members, and all nurses, do to support patients and families. May is also Mental Health Awareness month. In line with the American Nurses Association's (ANA) first week of Nurses Month of self-care, ARN joins the conversation to support our rehab nurses in ways to improve your self-care and remind you to put yourself first. 

The importance of mental health for nurses cannot be overstated. Rehabilitation nurses play a crucial role, providing essential care and support to patients and their families in various settings. However, the demanding nature of rehabilitation nursing work, combined with long hours, high-stress environments, staffing issues, and so much more, can take a toll on your mental well-being - whether you recognize it or not. Coping with mental well-being is a personal and ongoing process that can vary for each individual.

Here are 9 ways to maintain a healthy well-being: 

  1. Take care of your daily health first
    Engage in activities that promote self-care and relaxation. This can include exercise, getting enough sleep, maintaining a balanced diet, practicing mindfulness or meditation, and engaging in hobbies or activities that bring joy and fulfillment.

  2. Find the social support you need - like ARN!
    Build and maintain a support system of friends, family, or colleagues who can provide emotional support, understanding, and a listening ear. Use ARN's Member Circle to connect with rehabilitation nurses from all over the country - even world! Connecting with others and sharing experiences can help alleviate stress and provide a sense of belonging. 

  3. Give yourself a break
    Develop healthy coping mechanisms for managing stress. This can involve techniques such as deep breathing exercises, practicing relaxation techniques (e.g., yoga, progressive muscle relaxation), engaging in regular physical activity, or journaling to express and process emotions. Consider purchasing a gratitude journal, like this one on Amazon

  4. Set-up boundaries
    Set boundaries to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Learn to say no when necessary, delegate tasks when possible, and prioritize self-care. Creating boundaries helps prevent burnout and allows for time to rest and recharge. Read this article from PsychCentral about 10 ways to set and establish boundaries. 

  5. Seek professional help as needed
    If you are struggling with your mental well-being, do not hesitate to seek professional help. Mental health professionals such as therapists or counselors can provide guidance, support, and evidence-based interventions to help you navigate challenges and improve your well-being. Here is a mental health resource list from NursingLicenseMap.com 

  6. Practice gratitude and affirmations 
    Cultivate a mindset of gratitude by focusing on the positive aspects of your life. Read through these 99 positive affirmations for nurses and nursing students from HappierHuman.com. Regularly expressing gratitude, either through journaling or verbalizing it to others, can help shift your perspective and enhance your overall well-being. 

  7. Maintain a healthy lifestyle
    Engage in healthy habits that support your overall well-being. This includes regular exercise, eating nutritious foods, avoiding excessive alcohol or substance use, and getting sufficient sleep. Taking care of your physical health can have a positive impact on your mental well-being. Here are 7 Healthy Living blogs that you should follow in 2023, according to takecareof.com. 

  8. Disconnect from technology
    In today's digital age, it's essential to take breaks from technology and create boundaries around screen time. Unplugging from devices can help reduce stress, improve sleep quality, and foster more meaningful connections with others. Still think you need technology? Use it to phone a relative or friend that you have not heard from in a while. 

  9. Make time for the things you love 
    Make time for activities that bring you joy, whether it's pursuing a hobby, spending time in nature, listening to music, reading, or engaging in creative outlets. Engaging in activities you enjoy can boost your mood and provide a sense of fulfillment. 

Remember, everyone's journey to mental well-being is unique, and it may take time to find the strategies that work best for you. It's important to be patient with yourself and seek support when needed.

Here are some organizations that help with nurses' health: ​
  1. Employee Assistance Program (EAP): Many healthcare organizations offer an EAP that provides free and confidential counseling services to employees. This can be a great resource for nurses who need support with mental health concerns.
  2. National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): NAMI offers a helpline, support groups, and educational resources for people living with mental illness, as well as their families and loved ones. They also have specific resources for healthcare workers.
  3. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): SAMHSA offers a national helpline, treatment locator, and educational resources for people struggling with substance abuse and mental health concerns.
  4. American Nurses Association (ANA): The ANA has a Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation initiative that provides resources and support for nurses to prioritize their health and wellness, including mental health.
  5. Mental Health America (MHA): MHA offers a variety of mental health resources, including screenings, support groups, and educational resources.
  6. Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing Certification (PMHNP): This certification is specific to psychiatric-mental health nursing and can provide nurses with advanced knowledge and skills to support patients with mental health concerns.

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2023 Annual Conference

Presented both virtually and in-person at the Rhode Island Providence Convention Center in Providence, Rhode Island, we look forward to sharing more information with you about the speakers, presentations, and more.

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