Nurses play a defining role in our healthcare system. However, they face many underappreciated issues that don’t appear on the surface. Managing work-related stress is one of the few challenges nurses face every day. Nursing is a tough job both physically and mentally, and it can leave you exhausted for days. Unmanageable work schedules can lead to fatigue, stress, and even burnout. Fortunately, there are many effective ways with which nurses can deal with stress and take a much-needed time out. Are you ready to find out how?
1. Doing breathing exercises:
Yes, it may sound too cliched, but exercising is one of the best-proven ways to tackle stress and other physical strains. Engaging in breathing and different types of exercises is a great stress buster. You can boost your energy levels, improve your cardio health, and even manage weight. Breathing exercises are beneficial when trying to push an excruciatingly long shift or are close to total burnout. Try to remove yourself from a stressful environment for a few minutes and control your breathing. It works wonders when you are specifically anxious or having a bad day.
2. Indulge in online learning:
Sometimes, the best way to manage your dull working routine is to indulge in other productive hobbies. Apart from exercising and meditating, you can improve your practice by acquiring additional knowledge. Nurses can easily enroll in an RN to BSN degree to expand career options and move into positions that would be otherwise inaccessible to them. Nurses have hectic working hours, and there’s rarely any time outside of work to pursue a full-time degree. That’s where online programs offer nurses a flexible learning experience and an opportunity to look beyond their working environment. It’s a productive way to distract yourself.
3. Do things you love:
It’s easy to stay on the couch like a vegetable after a long day. However, it is more rewarding to energize yourself by doing things you love. The point is to make things manageable without losing the things which make you happy or bring pleasure. Love to draw? Do that whenever you feel down or burnout by your routine. Got a knack for knitting? Go for it because it’s a fantastic stress-relieving hobby. According to a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, adult coloring books are a great way to unplug and focus on something more fulfilling. Suppose you don’t currently have a hobby. In that case, you can always experiment and discover new things by seeking out experiences you were too afraid to try.
4. Meditate whenever you can:
According to various studies, meditation helps reduce heart disease risk factors and stress. Meditation provides benefits in all forms, whether you are looking for physical relief or mental. It helps relieve physical pain and allows you to manage your anxiety and feelings of depression. While it can also help you find that emotional balance where you can have better control over negative thoughts, stress, and even self-awareness. If you don’t have time to meditate at home, you can always find a quiet corner during your breaks and practice whatever works. Even if you do it for five minutes, you must allow yourself some space to focus your center and reenergize.
5. Eat good and healthy:
No one would be surprised to know that you are one of those people who become grumpy when hungry. Some people can’t function on an empty stomach. Nurses should especially be conscious of their diet and shouldn’t go on for hours without eating. Various studies suggest that going for a healthier diet has a long-term positive effect on your energy levels and overall mood. Therefore, nurses need to follow a healthy eating pattern where they neither starve nor overeat junk. Remember, it’s not about just eating food; it’s about consuming food that will keep your batteries full.
6. Unplug from the world:
Don’t you ever wish you weren’t wasting time scrolling through newsfeeds and watching people having a great time while exhausted? Yes! We all hope that! Sometimes, all we need is some me-time where there’s no chime of the phone or no pagers going off. Take a step back and let all the stress and worries leave your body. Put on some relaxing music and finish the book you’ve been reading forever. It is also essential to spend some time with your inner circle of friends and family. Being couped in a hospital all day can put your social life on pause. Therefore, it is necessary to find some time to relax or go out with friends and do the things you all love to do together.
7. Get loads of sleep:
You may think you can pull an all-nighter whenever you like, but that’s not helping you manage your work-life. As a nurse working around the clock, the chances are that you aren’t getting the recommended amount of sleep anyways. Various research suggests that lack of sleep can lead to an increased risk of obesity and a weaker immune system, which wouldn’t help with your strenuous routine. Therefore, try to get the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep. Try to block out phone and computer screens before going to bed and make it a habit of taking power naps during shift breaks. A good night’s sleep can leave you feeling energized and motivated even if you have a long day ahead.
Nursing is undoubtedly a very challenging career and takes a toll on a person. Even though you may feel that your routine is nothing but long hours of fatigue and stress, there are many ways to help you unwind and manage your routine. We’ve listed several tips to help nurses develop a healthy routine for maximum productivity without burning out.