Published May 13, 2019
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Stress is evident in every aspect of people’s lives, but if it affects you in your workplace, it’s time to take a breath and regroup. At Houston Methodist hospitals, nurses are doing just that to embrace a de-stressing moment.

With an entire department devoted to employee wellness, each location provides an on-site gym for employees’ use, with group and individual fitness classes. There are also wellness classes such as nutrition and stress-reduction techniques. Acupuncture and massage are available as well.

In addition, the Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital nursing staff came up with the “Code Lavender” project. Whenever a staff member is feeling stressed or overwhelmed, they can call a Code Lavender. When a Code Lavender happens, team members come together, and each nurse takes a task from the overwhelmed nurse. Tasks get done quickly, giving the nurse a chance to recover and take a deep breath. A team member may also call a Code Lavender if they recognize signs of stress.

The Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital’s nursing staff chose a different option for decreasing their stress levels. They have the Zen Den and Lavender Room — two rooms dedicated to stress reduction. The units are equipped with a massage chair, foot massage, aromatherapy, sound machines and dimmed lighting. They reported a significant decrease in staff members’ blood pressure after using the rooms. Approximately 50 percent of the staff utilizes the room during each shift.

The Willowbrook location of Houston Methodist Hospital chose a mindfulness initiative improving well-being, and physical and mental health. Staff members are working with the University of Massachusetts’ Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society to implement a multi-tiered program that provides varying levels of mindfulness training.

Article originally published by Valerie Sweeten at the Houston Chronicle. *Read the full article here.

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