Mental health resilience — it means being able to handle and adapt to setbacks, trauma, adversity, or stressful situations. According to the Mayo Clinic, being mentally resilient not only lowers your chances of mental health conditions but also improves your ability to cope with stress. These are four proven ways you can boost your mental health resilience as a travel nurse or allied healthcare traveler.
- Practice self-awareness
- Establish a support system
- Remember your why
- Prioritize physical self-care
- ✨ BONUS ✨ Fusion Medical Staffing mental health resources for travelers
4 Ways Healthcare Professionals Can Boost Mental Health Resilience
1. Practice self-awareness
Self-awareness is an essential part of building mental health resiliency as a medical professional. Self-awareness involves recognizing your strengths and weaknesses, values, beliefs, motivations, behavior patterns, and everything else that makes you you. When you see yourself more clearly, your confidence and creativity levels increase. Plus, with high self-awareness, you’ll also make sounder decisions, build stronger relationships, and communicate more effectively.
It’s all about understanding yourself, your emotions, and how they affect others. It’s important for you to practice self-awareness since you’re in a unique position to make an impact in the lives of others. With more self-awareness comes more empathy and compassion, as well as increased decision-making skills, all of which are vital to your role as a professional caregiver.
But how can you actively practice self-awareness in your daily life? Here are some suggestions:
👐 Keep a daily journal
👐 Practice mindful meditation
👐 Read fiction novels
Like what you’re reading? You may also like: 5 Reasons Why Mental Health Awareness Is Important
2. Establish a support system
Close your eyes and think about all the people who have supported you in your life. Think friends and family, current and former coworkers, old college roommates, and everyone in between. Does it fill you with warm fuzzies? That feeling right there is why it’s crucial to have a solid support system. And for someone who travels for a living, it’s even more important to have a community of loved ones that you can lean on in good times and in not so good times.
Aside from positive feelings, having a support system strengthens your mental health by providing emotional comfort and stability. Additionally, having people to talk to and be vulnerable with allows you to process your feelings more effectively and learn healthier coping strategies.
Wondering what support looks like? What support means to you may be different to others, but in general, there are three different types of social support: emotional support, instrumental support, and informational support.
Emotional support means having someone there when you need a shoulder to lean on when you’re overwhelmed with feelings. Whether you’re celebrating a win or mourning a loss, emotional support can make you feel less alone.
Instrumental support is someone offering a helping hand when you need it. This kind of assistance can include a friend sharing a healthy snack when they know you’re crunched for time or giving you a ride to work.
Lastly, informational support is a friendly piece of advice, guidance, or mentoring. Think about a time you’ve asked for the opinion of someone you trust on an issue that really had you stumped — that’s informational support.
Social support, no matter where it comes from, has been linked to better mental health and emotional wellbeing. By forming meaningful connections with others who understand you and offer empathy without judgment, you can confidently find strength in the face of adversity.
3. Remember your why
Everyone has a 'why' behind their decision to enter a healthcare profession. From the difference you make in the lives of your patients to the flexible work schedule and the job security, take time to remember your why.
"Being a travel nurse is so rewarding," said Fusion Medical Staffing traveler Jo. "I love going to hospitals that are in great need of my experience and expertise."
Connecting to your purpose can have a profound impact on mental health. Not only does it take you back to why you decided to become a nurse or allied health professional but knowing your purpose can also improve your mental health resilience, reduce stress, and increase satisfaction in your work. Knowing your purpose as a nurse or allied health professional makes you feel productive and fulfilled, even on the most challenging days.
4. Prioritize physical self-care
Physical self-care is essential to your overall wellbeing, including mental health resiliency. Taking the time to practice proper nutrition, exercise, and get enough restful sleep allows your body and mind to function at their best.
Practice prioritizing your physical health by treating yourself to fruits, veggies, lean proteins, and healthy fats. When you feed your body nutritious snacks and meals, your body thanks you by offering both physical and mental energy to help you power through your day. With a balanced diet, your brain is ready for cognitive tasks like problem-solving and tough decision-making.
Another way to enhance mental health resilience is through exercise. “Physical activity is known to help improve mental health,” said Ben Singh, PhD. “Importantly, the research shows that it doesn’t take much for exercise to make a positive change to your mental health.”
Whether it’s a leisurely walk around your hospital unit, some light stretching, or a full marathon, exercising releases endorphins that boost your mood and reduce feelings of depression and anxiety. Through regular exercise, you can gain a greater sense of control over your emotions and reactions to stressful situations while being able to focus on tasks more easily because of improved concentration.
Getting enough quality sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your health. Not only does it reduce stress, but quality sleep also helps boost cognitive performance and emotional regulation. Studies show that people who get sufficient rest are better able to think clearly, plan ahead, manage their emotions, and respond more effectively to hard situations. Combine healthy sleep habits with physical activity and healthy eating and you’ll be unstoppable.
Fusion Medical Staffing mental health resources for travelers
The good news is you don’t have to go through the journey of building mental health resilience alone — Fusion Medical Staffing is here for you every step of the way. As a Fusion Medical Staffing traveler, you automatically gain access to several resources like 24/7 mental health services, health insurance plan options with a $0 copay for therapy or counseling, and paid time off (PTO) after 1,500 hours worked.
“Recognizing that you might need to talk to someone and get help is brave and healthy,” said Fusion’s Director of Human Resources, Jessica Koch, SHRM-SCP. “You can’t continue to care for others if you don’t take care of yourself.”
When you just need to talk to someone who gets it, Fusion Medical Staffing’s clinical team and travel recruiters are there with open ears and open hearts. Whether you had an off day, a difficult patient, or even a major win, your Fusion Medical Staffing team is always available to offer advice, congratulations, a good joke, and everything in between.
No matter if you’re embarking on your very first assignment or setting off for your hundredth, establishing mental health resilience will benefit you in your healthcare travel career, as well as in your personal life. By nourishing your mental health resilience skills, you’ll be able to live a healthier, happier life.