Mental Health Awareness Week - There's no such thing as being super human!
Looking after your mental health will pay dividends not only in your professional life but also in your personal life.
Give yourself time out to reflect on your practice - perhaps you feel that you don’t have time - you do!
Clearly the demands of being responsible for service users, an often overstretched workforce and budgets constraints can be overwhelming. In the main, your environment will be fast paced and highly pressured and can take its toll not only on yourself but on your team too. For me, as a former provider and registered manager there are also the commercial pressures and of course, keeping or indeed improving your CQC rating, and more recently, for many providers, your local authority rating.
Having worked with registered managers and their teams I recognise, and empathise with those of you who are or have been at the end of your tether and potentially buckling under the strain. I have witnessed managers, office staff and nominated individuals who feel like their work life is spiralling out of control.
Some senior managers and I stress not all, forget that their teams are not super-human, that they do have a life outside the workplace and that they need time to reflect, recharge and regroup.
If this sounds all too familiar then you need to make changes for your own well-being and the well-being of your team. Here’s a few tips that have served me well over the years and I hope that you can use them to help you to alleviate some of the pressures and stress associated with your role.
Be kind to yourself - create some head space.
ASK FOR HELP - Be honest with your team and line manager if you are struggling. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, most line managers will appreciate your honesty.
Give yourself time out to reflect on your practice - perhaps you feel that you don’t have time - you do! Realistically, we can all take a regular time out no matter how busy we are. You owe it to yourself, be kind to yourself and make mind space.
Everyone needs to have breaks in their day, make sure that you have breaks and no working lunches. This goes for your team too. (I have always insisted on my teams having their breaks, they need this).
Listen to your staff, give them opportunities to reflect on their roles and experiences. I recommend a daily ‘catch up’ with your immediate team - it doesn’t have to be a long drawn out affair it can be a cuppa and a catch. This pays dividends for yourself and your team members. In my experience this makes for a more cohesive and happy team.
In an ideal world I would love to see employers encouraging mindfulness. If you don’t practice already, give it a go, the results can be life changing and contribute to good mental health. Remember that looking after your mental health will pay dividends not only in your professional life but also in your personal life.