Nursing is a demanding job. So, some level of stress is inevitable. However, to stay healthy and to provide the best care for your patients, you must pay attention to your mental wellbeing. Here are five top tips to relieve stress.
Ways to Relieve Stress
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep benefits not only your physical but also your mental health. When you sleep your brain consolidates memories and recharges. According to the American Psychological Association, even slight sleep deprivation negatively impacts memory, judgment, and mood. And unfortunately, stress often leads to insomnia which results in more stress and then more insomnia. To keep yourself well-rested, try to stick to a sleep schedule. Going to bed and getting up at the same time will improve both the length and quality of your sleep.
Sometimes our minds race. We’re thinking about what we did, what we should have done, and what we need to do… all at once. And this causes stress. Fortunately, studies show, practicing mindfulness can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. If you’re not sure where to start, begin by setting a timer a few times each day. When the alarm goes off, briefly stop what you’re doing, take a few deep breathes, and notice how you’re feeling. This simple activity allows you to re-center and focus on the present.
Exercise is another wonderful strategy to reduce stress and improve your overall physical health. Research suggests by pumping up your endorphins, exercise protects your body from the harmful effects of stress. Plus, you’ll be more mindful too. After all, it’s difficult to worry when you’re focused on hitting a ball. And if intense cardio workouts aren’t for you, that’s OK. Something as simple as an after-dinner walk or a 20-minute morning yoga routine still counts.
Add Something Fun to Your Schedule
It’s important to kick back and take your mind off work. Think of an activity you enjoy and add it to your calendar. You could schedule a regular event such as a Wednesday lunch with a friend or come up with different ideas each week. For a power move, combine your fun event with exercise. For example, you might join a soccer league, sign up for Zumba classes or learn to kayak.
Share Your Feelings
Some days, caring for sick patients and distraught families can become overwhelming. Rather than bottling up your emotions, regularly talk to someone you trust. This may be a supervisor, a mentor, a friend or a family member. Sharing your feelings will allow you to process your emotions and better deal with stress. Just remember not to cross over into negatively obsessing over events which tends to increase anxiety and unhappiness.
Are You Looking for More Nurse Life Hacks?
Check out BOS Medical Staffing’s other Nurse Life Hack articles on topics ranging from preventing burnout to treating yourself. Or if you’re hoping to relieve stress by finding a new job, we can help with that too. Our recruiters place RNs, LPNs and CNAs throughout the greater Atlanta area. Browse our available openings to discover a better job today!