A pathway to a healthier you

Seek help when you need it

Seeking help is not a default setting for many nurses and midwives.

We are educated and employed to care for others. Which can mean putting our needs on hold. How often have you said ‘I’ll deal with that later. I’m too busy to think about myself’?

Work making us unwell

Our work is challenging, unpredictable and complex. We can develop illness due to the personal effect of our work.

Put your health first

We encourage nurses, midwives and students to prioritise their health and wellbeing and reach out for help as soon as they identify they are not well. Too often we wait until our health issue is advanced before we seek help to address the issue.

Our service is confidential and free. We are here to help you to recover and make your health and wellbeing a priority. 

Help seeking – what is it

Acknowledging that you need help for a health issue is the first step. The next is accessing that help.

Stages of help seeking

There are 4 stages to seeking help:

  1. Awareness and appraisal of problems
  2. Expression of symptoms and need for support
  3. Availability of sources of help
  4. Willingness to seek out and disclose to sources

This progression was defined by one of the few comprehensive studies into help seeking behaviors in Australia, Rickwood et al. (2005).

Encourage ourselves and others to seek help 

We all have a role to play in help seeking. You may recognise that you need help and act on that need. You may identify that a colleague needs support and offer them support and guidance.

Our managers can play an important part in creating workplaces cultures that normalise and promote the importance of help seeking. 

Make staff health and wellbeing a permanent agenda item at team meetings and daily huddles. Put awareness-raising posters in the tea room and share resources from trusted health and wellbeing services.

Help seeking is the intentional act of acknowledging that you need intervention for a health issue and accessing that help

Help seeking is your wellbeing super power; it will help keep your health afloat

Ensuring nurse well-being is not just good for nurses, then; it is essential for the health and safety of patients, the functioning of health systems, and the financial health of health care organizations
The Future of Nursing 2020-2030: Charting a Path to Achieve Health Equity

Do you have a story to share about your help seeking experience?

We would love to hear it.

7 tips to help keep your health in check

Devote time each day to complete a health scan.

Ask yourself:

Am I OK?

How is my energy level?

Where is my health on a scale of 0-5?  (5 being optimal health).

What do I need to get my health back on track?

Set “my health” goals.

Be intentional about your health and what you plan to achieve.

Set realistic goals:

  • I plan to eat more vegetables this week.
  • Next week I will aim to increase the time  I devote to walking outside.
  • Tomorrow I will commence a daily mindfulness practice for 5 minutes.
  • Today I will not look at my phone 30 minutes prior to going to bed.

Keep a health journal. 

Record and monitor your health by carving out 10 minutes each day to write in your health journal. Reflect on what you have achieved, where you plan to take your health over the next month and celebrate all you have achieved.

Monitor you stress level.

Create a daily habit where you do a stress check in. 

Ask how stressed am I?

Is it healthy stress that invigorated me?

Is it unhealthy stress that depletes me?

Record your stress level daily in your health journal and map it over time. If you consistently identify that you live with unhealthy stress, take action to reduce your stress. Consider taking a break, paying more attention to your sleep and nutrition, engaging in activities that replenish you.

Give your self the gift of nutrition.

Choose to eat food that you enjoy and know is good for your health. Increase your vegetable intake include vegetables for lunch and dinner, even if the recipe does not have any. Add  frozen packet vegetables to your meal/for lunch/dinner. Pick up pre-made salad mixes from the supermarket for easy meals. Snack on fruit between meals. Include a piece of fruit for breakfast or dessert. If you don’t have a medical contra indication drink water all day long to avoid dehydration.

Develop an exercise habit.

You may feel like you do enough exercise at work. Ask does this type of exercise make me feel better? If not discover what type of exercise you enjoy and commit to doing it regularly. Before you know it, you will have created an exercise habit. A daily stretch routine before or after work my protect you from injury at work.

Engage in daily fun activities.

Activities that are fun are guaranteed to make you feel better and support your health and wellbeing. Each day make a conscious choice to inject more fun into your life.

Laugh, share a joke, notice the things in your life that make you smile and do them, often.

Hang out with people who are fun and lift your spirits. At the end of your day reflect on the things that have been fun and made you smile and laugh. Commit to doing more of those things tomorrow.