Our mantra is Your Health Matters. It’s never been more important for you to connect with that idea.
I started writing this in mid-January 2022. I started writing this five times while attempting to reflect the impact of the prolonged and ever-changing COVID-19 climate, the impact of floods, bushfires, and other life challenges, including the distressing events in Ukraine. This is an unusually difficult moment in human history, and our thoughts are with all of you.
One thing is a constant: nurses and midwives continue to push themselves to meet the needs of others. Many are exhausted or teetering on the brink of burnout with little left to give. Others are experiencing health issues including long COVID, post-traumatic stress disorder, moral distress, anxiety and depression — to list just a few. If working during the pandemic has negatively impacted your health and wellbeing, I’m sorry this has happened to you. Your work should not harm you.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to challenge and stress many, I urge you to make your health a priority in 2022. The impact of not doing so may have dire consequences. The cumulative impact of stress, anxiety, dehydration, fatigue, exhaustion, and long work hours may lead to burnout, chronic stress disorders, overwhelm and long-term health issues.
Some nurses and midwives tell me they have remained hopeful and optimistic. They have established health and wellbeing routines and habits that have sustained them and assisted them to thrive while working and living during the pandemic. If this is you we would love to hear what has supported and sustained you while working during these unprecedented times: firstname.lastname@example.org
Take heed: your health REALLY does MATTER! Now is the time to act to manage your health and wellbeing. If not now, when?
If you are a nurse or midwife leader, manager, policy maker, frontline worker or support service, we all have a responsibility to look after ourselves and each other.