A prescription of serotonin for your workplace

Who doesn’t love a bit of science behind a reason to take care of ourselves? I often give my clients permission, via a prescription for things like self-compassion and self-care. Self-care is just keeping your tank full with all the juicy things in your life that make you. 

A funny thing happened a couple of years ago when I did a workshop around teamwork in an ICU unit. Everyone loved the idea of helping everyone else out, they all sounded like they acted like a team and said the right things. However when we got to the bit of what gets in the way of teamwork, the cracks started to show. The team admitted that it was hard to give to others in their team when they didn’t feel full themselves. They really needed to engage in good self care, and stress management before they could look around and see who needed a hand. It’s not the whole picture, as nurses who feel disempowered at work get more stressed and don’t help others as well. 

But a good place to start is encouraging wellbeing in the ward. Besides this great infographic, here are a few things you can do to increase resilience in the ward.

  1. Getting a language around resilience. Talk about it at meetings and put it on the agenda. Put posters on the wall. Print this list out and put it on display 😊  
  2. Get a wellbeing group happening. These people might also be the social committee, but make it important enough to be a project group.
  3. Start asking around what good thing are they going to do for themselves tonight. Admit its been a hard shift, and ask, what are you going to do for yourself tonight?
  4. Ask staff what interests them at work and see if they can work more with their interests and strengths
  5. Tell staff you value you by engaging in the language of appreciation (my blog on that will be coming soon) but briefly, they are words of appreciation, quality time, gifts, high fives, acts of service. Check out the serotonin below. 
  6. Make sure you follow up on staff issues promptly and keep everyone updated with good communication
  7. Make sure you do some fun things as a unit. Some ideas are cake tasting competitions, footy tipping, kris kringle at Xmas, jokes in the tea room, fun or funky Friday  (when they can wear a fun shirt), sports challenges.  Any other ideas? 
  8. SMILE! 

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