Treat Yourself Well

The Canadian Mental Health Association posted a few tips in lieu of Mental Health Week.

  • Learn how to cope with negative thoughts: Negative thoughts can be insistent and loud: don’t let them take over. Distract yourself or comfort yourself if you can’t solve a problem right away. Try seeing the issue from all sides rather than from just one point of view.
  • Be in the present: When you’re out for a walk or socializing, turn off the cell phone and take in all the sights and sounds around you. Smell the roses!
  • “Collect” positive emotional moments: Make a point of thinking about those times when you’ve felt pleasure, comfort, tenderness, confidence or other positive emotions.
  • Enjoy hobbies: A hobby helps bring balance to your life. You’re doing something because you want to, rather than because you have to. No pressure. It’s a form of mental stimulation too.
  • Treat yourself well: It could be a good meal, a bubble bath, a movie, or just sitting in the park enjoying nature. Small daily treats have a cumulative effect.
  • Get exercise: Regular physical activity is good for the mind. It can even reduce depression and anxiety. Joining an exercise group or gym is even better because it connects you with others.

On Tuesday, the town had a breakfast to promote awareness of mental health issues. It was a fantastic turn-out. I didn’t see a whole lot in terms of mental health awareness campaigns at the breakfast. But in the health centre, there were a lot of displays and pamphlets.

Tomorrow there is going to be a walk to raise even more awareness. It’s good to see that even in little communities like this one, these issues are being discussed.

It is unfortunate, but I do see patients who have overdosed on medications (i.e. acetaminophen, anti-depressants) or have addictions to alcohol and illegal substances. It is definitely a cry for help, and I wish there was more I could do as a nursing student. What I feel like I’m doing in the ED is putting a quick band-aid on the solution, and then transferring the patient to another floor or sending them home.

When I work on the in-patient floor, I feel like I’m being pulled in 10 different directions. There are so many tasks to complete, and when you have 8 patients, it’s hard to sit down and have a conversation with each of them. Also, during night shift, who wants to be talking to a nurse?

The hospital has a dedicated mental health counsellor, as well as traditional healers. But in terms of how often our patients use these resources — that I’m not sure. There is a LARGE disconnect when it comes to different services offered. And you would think in such a small town people would be willing to work together. Alas, that is not the case.

Another disheartening fact is that when someone leaves the community, those projects that they were working on fall to the way-side. There is no continuity and no one to take over.

At times this place can wear you down, but I’m keeping my chin up and staying positive. I want to introduce some new ideas into the hospital. We normally don’t use sucrose to soothe infants during needle-pokes, so I want to try to get that implemented. However, I believe it needs to be something the MD must order. Correct me if I’m wrong.

One Response to “Treat Yourself Well”
  1. michele haley says:

    don’t think you need an md order for sucrose in ontario… can be done by an rn 🙂
    great blog!

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