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The importance of self-reflection in promoting mental health among nurses: care plan

Updated: Dec 20, 2023

The importance of self-reflection in promoting mental

health among nurses: care plan

The life of a nurse is fast-paced, high-pressure, and physically and mentally demanding. While

nurses give their all to their patients, they can often forget to look after their well-being

resulting in poor mental health and burnout. One effective way to promote mental health among

nurses is through self-reflection.

Self-reflection involves looking inward at your thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. Self-reflection

can help you identify factors that affect your mental health and take positive steps to address


Ways self-reflection can help promote mental health among nurses

Identify triggers and stressors

Nursing can be stressful, often being exposed to emotionally challenging situations. By taking

part in self-reflection you can identify the triggers and stressors that affect your mental health

and take proactive steps to reduce their impact, such as seeking support from colleagues or

taking time off work to rest.

Develop self-awareness

Self-reflection helps you become more self-aware and understand your emotions, thoughts,

and behaviours. If you recognize patterns of behaviour that are harmful to your mental health, you

can take steps to improve your well-being, such as practicing mindfulness or seeking

professional help if needed.

Reduce burnout

Burnout is a state of emotional exhaustion that affects many nurses due to the high demands of

their job. Self-reflection can help identify early signs of burnout and take steps to prevent it, such

as reflecting on workload, setting realistic goals, and seeking support.

Improve self-care

Self-care helps you improve your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. By looking at your

self-care habits, you can identify areas for improvement and make changes such as

incorporating exercise, healthy eating, or taking part in relaxing hobbies.

Enhancing resilience

Resilience refers to your ability to recover after a negative experience. Self-reflection can help

you build resilience by identifying your strengths and weaknesses. By focusing on strengths you

can develop a positive mental attitude and by reflecting on weaknesses you can identify areas

for growth and take steps to improve coping skills.

Stages of reflecting

Some people find it useful to keep a journal to help them learn more about themselves and how

to overcome certain situations more positively.

Let’s find out what you should include in your self-reflection journal.

Write down what happened

Think about the situation in detail. Write down what happened and in what order. Where did it

happen, and who else was involved? What part did you play? What was the outcome?

How did it make you feel?

Be honest with yourself about how you felt during the situation. Were you afraid, confused,

angry, or scared? Understanding how you felt at the time will help you deal with similar

problems in the future.

Why did it happen?

Think about why things happened as they did; from earlier steps, have you identified details you

hadn't noticed before? How did you interact with others interact at the time? Could the situation

have been prevented?

Critically review

Is there anything you would do differently if the situation happened again? What could you have

done to improve the situation? Also, think about the things that went well and give yourself

credit for dealing with challenging experiences.

What will you do differently in the future?

This is the most critical stage in self-reflection. Think about everything you’ve written down

and reflect on how you can improve how you can deal with the situation differently and more

positively next time.


1. Do you reflect on your experiences at work? Are they usually good or bad experiences?

2. Did you know what self-reflection was before reading this article?

3. How can you begin self-reflecting this week to help improve your mental health?




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