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A Note from Nursing

May is Mental Health Month, which is used to help bring attention to the importance of mental health as well as provide education to the public, and fight the stigma surrounding mental illness. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), 1 in 5 people will be affected by mental illness in their lifetime; however, only around 60% of people with mental illness receive treatment in any given year. If you or a loved one is suffering, please speak up! There is no shame in having a mental health issue, and seeking treatment should be as normal treating any other ailment. As caregivers, we often push ourselves harder than we should, and sometimes have difficulty taking time for ourselves. Don’t wait until you’re overwhelmed to take a break, and ask for help when you need it.

5 Tips to avoid becoming burned out:

1. Identify stressors. Some stress is unavoidable, but you might be surprised to find that some things are easy to change. For example: Learn to say “no”. Find your limit, and stick to it. Also, if one person in your personal life tends to stress you out, avoid them! Assess your relationship; is that person worth sacrificing your peace of mind?

2. Find a hobby and consistently make time for it. Set aside at least a half an hour a day to “unwind”.

3. Trim your “to do” list. If you have multiple activities planned every day after work, decide where you can compromise. Place non-essential items at the bottom of the list, and consider dropping some entirely.

4. Express your feelings. If someone or something is bothering you, discuss it with them in a calm, non-confrontational way. If you avoid the situation, your irritation and resentment will only build.

5. Adjust your expectations. Sometimes we have to learn to accept less than perfection – find areas in your life where “good” is good enough.

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