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Mastering self-compassion: the key to better mental health?

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Compassion characterises the work of most nurses, Compassion characterises the work of most nurses, but it can lead to emotional exhaustion and burnout

A recent systematic review revealed that 31% of nurses experience emotional exhaustion, 24% are highly depersonalized, and 38% feel low levels of personal accomplishment – all three of which are components of burnout.1 With the impact of burnout having dire consequences on your personal well-being and the care provided to patients,2 it’s time to take a serious look at how to improve your mental health.

The ingredients of improving mental health

For anyone in the caring profession, there are two key psychological ingredients that can help you better manage workplace stressors and nurture your mental well-being – self-compassion and detachment.

Self-compassion is the ‘ability to respond to the self in times of failure or distress with kindness and understanding.’2 It has been found to lead to lower rates of burnout and increased effectiveness with stress management.2

Detachment is a coping strategy that focuses on your ability to detach mentally from the workplace, when not at work. A healthy level of detachment has been shown to improve emotional regulation among nurses and positively contribute to overall well-being.3

Self-compassion and detachment can both be harnessed to help combat emotional exhaustion and help you practice efficiently in your critical role as a nurse.

Breaking free from the halo effect

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