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Protecting Your Mental Health as a Nurse: Creating a Personalized Care Plan that Works

Updated: Dec 8, 2023

Trauma and nurses: the importance of self-compassion. What is your care plan for your mental health?

If you have been suffering with your mental health for some time and have been discussing with your doctor how to move forward and improve your mental health, they may have mentioned a mental health care plan.

What is a mental health care plan, and do I need one?

A mental health care plan provides ongoing support for people who have had input from a variety of services regarding their mental health and have suffered from a mental health condition for over six months.

Each organisation works together to provide the best level of care. The care plan may also include what to do in a crisis or how to prevent a decline in mental well-being.

Not everyone needs a mental health care plan if you are unsure if it would help you reach out to your doctor.

What if I still want to create goals to improve my mental health?

Even if you don't have an official mental health care plan, you can still set goals and celebrate achievements at home.

Consider the steps below to help develop your own care plan for your mental health.

Five steps to mental well-being

You can take five main steps to help improve your mental health.

  1. Connect with others- Building strong positive relationships with a range of others can help build your confidence and emotional support network.

  2. Keep active- Any kind of exercise helps release endorphins in the brain, positively elevating your mood and self-esteem. Exercise can also strengthen your muscles and build your overall stamina.

  3. Learn a new skill- This will give you a sense of purpose whilst boosting your self-confidence.

  4. Give back to others- Research shows that showing kindness and giving your time to others helps improve your well-being.

  5. Practice mindfulness- stay present in the moment by taking part in relaxation and mindfulness activities to affect your mind and body positively.

Lower your stress levels

Another good way to improve your mental health is learning to control your stress levels.

Although you can't avoid all stressors, working on your stress management skills can help you maintain a sense of control during difficult situations.

Things that can help you manage your stress levels include:

● Interacting with others

● Increase a calming sensory input- such as taking a bubble bath, listening to your favourite music, or participating in your favourite hobby.

● Make 'you' time a priority and unwind at the end of a busy day or week

● Appreciate the good things in your life- this could be as simple as jumping into bed when you've changed the sheets

● Develop relaxation techniques

● Consider the therapeutic effects pets can help on stress levels


Should you seek professional help?

If you feel you have made every effort to tackle your mental health issues on your own and don't feel an improvement, it is essential to speak to your health provider to find out what help is available.

Speaking to a medical professional for reassurance that you can feel better can sometimes be the push we need to fully commit to improving our mental health.




  1. Do you think you would benefit from developing a mental health care plan?

  2. Do you need professional input, or can you create one at home to follow?

  3. What steps could you take to help lower your stress levels?


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