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Nursing and mental well-being. Developing post-COVID Mental wellness

Updated: Dec 8, 2023


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Nursing and mental well-being. Developing post-COVID Mental wellness

As the world started to return to the 'new normal' and pandemic restrictions eased, some people struggled with ever-changing rules, expectations, and the challenges of living in a post-COVID world.


As you adapt to the 'new normal' it's important to give yourself time and space to recover. Although we collectively experienced lockdowns and COVID updates on the news, our personal experiences and reactions to this are different. So, what can you do to promote mental wellness post-COVID?



 



3 Key areas to think about when developing mental wellness post-pandemic


Attention

Many people became hypervigilant during the pandemic, constantly on high alert for signs of the virus, and interacting differently with the world meant that things we once saw as safe suddenly felt risky.


Adaptation

Generally, as humans, we are very adaptable, but the number of times we have adapted our lives and responses over the last few years has left many people burnt out and in need of rest. The 'new normal' brings with it feelings of relief that the worst is over but worry about the virus still being around and the possibility that it may spread again is never far away.

Anxiety

The pressure of keeping up with ever-changing rules and regulations has raised anxiety in many people. Even though the threat of COVID-19 has reduced, it can take a long time for the feelings of anxiety to disappear.



 

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Karens Journey -As a nurse who has worked in various settings throughout the pandemic, I found myself constantly redeployed and struggling with symptoms of PTSD. Fortunately, with the help of my doctor and a therapist, I was able to get back on track. One of the things that helped me the most was realizing the importance of being thankful.

While I couldn't have a dog in my tiny apartment, I found solace in creating a garden inside and outside on my patio. It has become my little happy place, where I can take a break from the stress of work and reflect on what I am grateful for. Caring for my plants and watching them grow has brought me peace and joy that I never thought possible. For anyone struggling with the aftermath of the pandemic, I highly recommend finding a small way to create a happy place for yourself, whether it's with plants, art, music, or anything else that brings you joy. Taking time to reflect on what you are thankful for can also be incredibly beneficial for your mental health. Remember, it's essential to prioritize your own well-being in order to provide the best care for others. Sincerely, Karen B.


 

6 Tips for developing mental wellness

Taking care of yourself is the first step to achieving mental wellness in a post-pandemic world. Check out our tips below to start creating positive changes to help take control of your life again.


Go at your own pace- As COVID restrictions are lifted, you may feel like you want to make lots of plans and reconnect with loved ones you haven't seen during the lockdown. Or you may feel wary about returning to normality and still worry about catching the virus. Both of these reactions are normal, and you should take time to adjust to the world opening up.

  1. Don't avoid things- Avoiding stressful situations may seem like a good idea in the short term, but this will create longer-term anxiety that's harder to overcome. It is better to plan small achievable activities to help build up your confidence in returning to normal after the pandemic.

  2. Be open with others- Make sure to discuss your situation with loved ones. They will understand your concerns as COVID restrictions are reduced and be able to support you to socialise more and reconnect with family and friends.

  3. Make time to relax- Make sure you give yourself time to rest and relax. Returning to a full social calendar can be exciting but also exhausting. It has been a long time since we had so many places to go and people to see.

  4. Challenge negative thoughts- Work to identify unhelpful and negative thoughts, as these will lead to anxiety and possible isolation. Talk to your loved ones and ask for support if you notice a pattern of negative thoughts. Challenge these thoughts to help boost your confidence and change negative thoughts into successful, positive thoughts.

  5. Stick to a routine wherever you can- Your routine will have changed throughout the pandemic, and now the world is opening up again, it doesn't mean that all these routines need to be forgotten. Keep healthy habits and integrate them into your 'new normal.' If you need to start adding routines back into your life again, start simple, create set meal times or bedtimes and build from there.


 

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Reflection:

  1. Have you experienced any attention, adaptation, or anxiety symptoms post-pandemic?

  2. What have you done to overcome these symptoms?

  3. Can you think of any other tips to help develop your mental wellness?


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