How to Manage Work Anxiety as a CNA

The nursing world has a mental health problem. Cases of depression, anxiety and stress have spiked among HCPs, recently. This has contributed to a wave of turnover that is expected to shake the healthcare industry to its core. As of September 2021, there are 255% more open nursing jobs compared to the previous year. We need our healthcare heroes to keep the world running, but they also deserve far better. This article will share simple but effective strategies for managing work anxiety.

Breathing Exercises: Sometimes, deep breaths are just what you need to stave off the nursing burnout. It only takes a little time from your day, and the returns can be very fruitful. Even a few short, shallow breaths can help calm the nerves a great deal. If you want to take things further, however, deep breath exercises are invaluable in managing anxiety for CNAs. While lying down, breathe deeply through your nose and exhale from your mouth. Make sure you can feel your belly expand with every inhale and contract with each exhale. Repeat this three more times, for the best results. Setting aside a specific time in the day for this breathing exercise helps you bake it into your daily routine.

Be kinder to yourself: When we are stressed, we tend to be extremely hard on ourselves. While this is a natural reaction, wallowing in this mindset is bad for a nurse’s mental health. Instead, you want to show yourself the compassion that you show others. This kind of self-care is an invaluable strategy for warding off stress, as a CNA. Instead of fussing over your mistakes, you want to treat yourself with the love that you deserve. Whether it is reading a book, or watching a big game, allowing yourself to enjoy things goes a long way.

Spend time with others: CNA burnout can spring from feelings of isolation and loneliness. The perfect remedy for this is quality time with people you care about. Set aside some free time to go out with your family and friends. Just being with loved ones does wonders for a nurse’s mental health. If you cannot leave the house, you can voice chat, play virtual games and participate in other remote activities..

Set clear boundaries: Your time at home should be a time of peace. With that in mind, try limiting your exposure to the news on your off hours. While keeping updated with the news is important, overexposure to depressing current events can lead to unwanted stress and an increased risk of nursing burnout. Like with many things, moderation is key in managing work anxiety for a CNA. Set aside a specific time in the day where you can get your updates from trustworthy sources.

Adopt healthy practices – When you physically feel better, you will be able to work better.

The body and the mind are inseparably linked. When you take care of one, you are directly helping the other. A balanced diet, ample amounts of sleep and regular exercise do wonders for the mental health of a nurse. For more information, you can refer to our article on staying healthy as a CNA.

Do not be afraid to seek help: This is one of the best strategies for warding off stress as CNA, but in some ways it is the hardest. While things have improved compared to twenty years ago, there is still somewhat of a stigma surrounding mental health. Contrary to what some might say, seeking mental health assistance is not a sign of weakness. Anxiety, stress and depression are just like any other ailment. Do not be afraid to book an appointment with a therapist, mentor or counsellor Additionally, do not hesitate to confide in close friends and family whom you trust. Handling CNA burnout becomes far more manageable with the right assistance.

Our HCPs give so much to our community. Their efforts have saved the lives of millions, amidst an unprecedented global pandemic. A nurse’s mental health deserves as much attention as their physical health. Everyone wins, when the mental health issue is seriously addressed. Less stress and anxiety means less turnover and better results in the workplace. If we do not seriously address the issue soon, we risk losing the lifeblood of the healthcare space. Without enough nurses, you simply cannot run an effective healthcare system.