Many careers are considered busy, not giving you much downtime, but few are as busy as nursing. It’s not unusual for a nurse to spend the entire shift on their feet, without a moment to sit down and catch their breath. They can find themselves bustling around from patient to patient, never once thinking about how tired they may be. The problem is that all that rushing around does eventually catch up to a person and it doesn’t take long for stress to accumulate.
If you are a busy nurse who is currently trying to cope with a lot of stress and you’re finding it difficult, these tips can be very helpful and effective.
Make Your Sleep Schedule a Priority
One thing that can elevate stress and the symptoms it causes is a lack of sleep. If you aren’t getting enough sleep each night then you cannot perform at your peak level mentally and physically. This can prove to be dangerous in such a demanding job as nursing.
Just as you would set up a sleep schedule or routine for a child, it may be time to do the same for yourself. This means setting a bedtime you follow each time, giving yourself enough time to wind down before bed, avoiding food/drinks after dinner that may negatively affect your sleep patterns, using a white noise machine, getting blackout curtains, and creating a soothing bedroom environment.
Exercise Combats Stress Very Effectively
Exercise is another tool you can embrace, as it does an excellent job at fighting stress. The next time you get home after a busy shift and you’re feeling rattled and stressed, why not throw on your sneakers and go for a jog or speed walk. You’d be shocked at how much better you feel by the time you get home. Even just a 20-30 minute outing will have a profound effect on your stress.
Find a Hobby Outside of Work
If you feel like you do nothing besides work and then come home to eat and sleep, then it’s time to shake things up. Finding a hobby can help you to relax, force you to be in that moment, and give more purpose to your life. It gives you more to look forward to than just working and sleeping. And the great thing about hobbies is that you can pick anything that interests you. You may even want to choose a couple of hobbies, whatever works for you.
Some hobbies you may want to embrace can include:
This is just a small look at the many things that can be classified as a hobby. Don’t forget, hobbies can be a solo activity or something you do with friends or a partner.
Don’t Bring Work Stress Home with You
This is a mind-over-matter kind of thing, but it’s also wise to start training yourself to leave the work stress at work. That heaviness should not come home with you. If you come home with stress, there is a very high chance you will end up taking it out on family members or letting it ruin your downtime. Check the stress at the door and leave it there.
Harness the Power of Healthy Eating
Healthy eating has all kinds of positive effects on your body. It helps you to sleep better, makes digestion easier, can increase your mood and energy level, and just be an enjoyable activity when it’s a tasty meal. There is no need to diet rather the focus should be on healthy eating. This means choosing foods rich in nutrients, minerals, and vitamins.
If you typically find yourself grabbing takeout food, it can be smart to kick that habit to the curb and start cooking homemade meals. Homemade meals put you in the driver’s seat when it comes to ingredients so that means you can control just how much salt, sugar, fat, and so on goes into each dish.
Talk It Out
Keeping your stress bottled up inside is never a good idea. Eventually, it’s going to spillover and more than likely it will happen at the wrong time. Find a close friend or family member who you can talk to, vent, and get things off your chest. Let them know you don’t expect them to fix your stress, rather you just need someone to talk to who is supportive and understanding.
Nurses can go through some very serious traumas making it even more important to talk about their feelings. You may even wish to speak to a therapist as they can also provide you with effective stress coping techniques.
Choose an Online Program Rather Than On-Campus
This stress-busting tip is meant for people who haven’t yet entered into the field but want to pursue a career in nursing. You may want to give thought as to how and where your courses are taught. Rather than attend the campus in person, which could involve a busy commute or even having to move closer to the school, why not look into an online program? This can save you a lot of time, hassle, and even money – all of which helps you to relax in general. The accelerated nursing programs through Baylor University can be worth looking into.
The good news is that these online programs are so advanced and technical nowadays that you will get the same experience online as you would inspersion. In other words, there is no sacrifice in the quality of education or your student experience. You’ll be starting your nursing career in a calmer, more focused mindset, which is the recipe for success.
Stress Does Not Have to Be a Permanent Part of Your Day
While the job of nursing is never going to be easy or dull, on the flip side, there is no reason to allow the stress to accumulate to such a point where you are suffering mentally and physically. Each of these tips can help you to take control and better manage your stress.