Mental Health and Stress Management Advice from a Psychologist
The Allied Health Team at FRS Recruitment have been recruiting for Clinical & Counselling Psychologist jobs across Ireland over the past two years we have noticed a significant increase in the demand for psychologists nationwide. A recent survey conducted by the Psychological society of Ireland found that 83% of respondents reported a shortage of Psychologists in Health and Social Care settings and 74% said there was a shortage of psychologists in educational settings.
This shortage of psychologists coupled with the Covid 19 pandemic has understandingly, had an impact on our nations mental health.
Having recently worked with Psychologist Dr Philomena McCarthy, Charlene and Sinead asked for her advice and tips for managing stress and mental health throughout the pandemic. The details of this can be found below:
Many people have been practicing meditation and mindfulness throughout the pandemic to reduce stress and anxiety. What is your advice on managing stress?
- Identify your stressors and see what aspects of them you can control/do differently to manage stress better e.g. if you are working towards a deadline, ensuring you have lunchbreak each day, go to bed at reasonable time and go for a daily walk will help manage this stress.
- Ensure to build regular exercise into your life, eat healthy foods and follow a healthy sleep routine. These are key aspects to managing stress outside of work too.
- Learn calming breathing such as belly breathing (also known as diaphragmatic breathing) and practice this when you feel stressed.
- Acknowledge your thoughts and feelings.
- Don’t’ be ashamed to seek support when needed. Talk to a friend, colleague, or seek professional support about the factors in your life causing stress.
- Manage social media consumption. It’s very easy to access social media nowadays and has become a part of many people’s daily lives.
- Take time out! Stop what you are doing and rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Set boundaries around work, indicating that work has begun and ended.
- Try get out for a walk before work.
- Put your laptop out of sight at the end of working day. Have a clear workspace, turn off work phone or notifications once your workday has concluded.
- Have clear communication pathways with your manager, colleagues and peers. Keep in regular communication and discuss how working from home is going, what is needed, what is working well etc. Clarify expectations regarding working hours, response time to phone-calls, emails etc.
- Ensure every video meeting has a clear purpose and agenda (be aware of video call burnout).
- Ensure enough time for breaks between online video calls.
- Create a schedule for the day, try it, review and create a tweaked version that works. Remember to put in breaks, lunch, admin time. Be realistic about expectations (e.g. 7 back to back video calls can be exhausting).
- Seek feedback from others or provide feedback to those who could impact on your workday experience.
What tips would you give people to ensure they keep in touch with colleagues to ensure they don’t lose that connection?
- Regular communication and clarity around how to implement this and ensure consistency.
- Occasional online coffee meetings may help to build social connections that may positively impact on professional connections.
Are you a psychologist thinking about making your next career change? The Allied Health Team at FRS recruitment has over 20 years’ experience hiring Psychologists across the country and will be able to guide you ensuring, your next step is the right one for you.