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Jul 07, 2024

Healthcare workers face high-stress situations and have severe emotional demands placed on them because of their profession. Healthcare workers need to have both a high level of technical skill and immense emotional resilience.

The inherent nature of healthcare means that people in the field will have to deal with life-and-death situations, all while working long hours under high pressure. These and more are some of the leading causes of burnout and anxiety in healthcare workers and represent problems healthcare workers all over the world face.

So how can you, or if someone you love is a healthcare worker, build resilience and look after yourself mentally and emotionally? Here’s what you need to know.

Prioritise self-care

Self-care is self-preservation. It is not selfish.

While self-care may evoke images of spa days and cucumber slices on eyes, it’s much more than just time off.

Self-care is making time for the things and the people you love. Whether it’s reading, a date-for-one at the movies, or yes, a spa day, it’s up to you to make time for yourself.

No person is an island

A support system at home and work is essential. Speak to colleagues who understand the challenges you face. At home, talk to your family and give them insight into your work and the difficult moments you have to overcome.

Also, be the change you want to see. Reach out to colleagues who are having a rough time and be the soundboard they need. Moments where you can give advice can also be moments where you subconsciously speak to yourself.

Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness and relaxation techniques are effective ways of reducing your stress levels. Mindfulness techniques teach you how to stay present in a moment and can help reduce anxiety and fear.

Talk to a professional

People aren’t born with the innate ability to handle stress. It’s something we need to learn. Talking to a mental healthcare professional or psychologist is the best way to learn how to manage stress and face emotional challenges. Counselling provides a safe space to express your feelings and develop your coping strategies. If your employer has employee assistance programmes (EAPs) that provide confidential counselling services, make that your first port of call. These are usually free.

Set boundaries

Your boundaries are how you protect yourself. Boundaries at home and at work are the cornerstone of the rest of your experience at work. Set them early and stay strong in your convictions. Understand your limits and don’t take on more than you can handle. It’s okay to say no.

Building resilience is an ongoing process. It’s a continual effort and something you need to maintain to help it flourish. Prioritise self-care, ask for and give support, and learn effective stress management techniques. It’s your long-term investment in yourself that gives you the ability to care for others.



Healthcare Worker Burnout Is Rampant- Here’s What Should Be Done. Forbes. 2023. Available here.

Burnout in Healthcare Workers: Prevalence, Impact and Preventative Strategies. National Library of Medicine. 2020. Available here.

Strategies and Interventions to Improve Healthcare Professionals’ Well-Being and Reduce Burnout. National Library of Medicine. 2023. Available here.

Health Worker Burnout. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Accessed 2024. Available here.

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