Nursing is a demanding career as nurses stay on their toes throughout and juggle multiple responsibilities. Several nurses work for extended hours without taking a break, and continuous work strains their minds and performance. A nurse’s stress is an alarming and impactful issue, and it can have severe consequences. A vast majority of nurses go through emotional turmoil, and the physical demands of their careers make it more challenging for them.
Nurses’ stress results in negligence in patients’ care, poor patients’ outcomes, and patients’ dissatisfaction. In addition, it affects nurses’ health, and they often fail to make timely decisions for patients’ betterment.
Work pressure and grueling duty hours can lead to emotional detachment from the primary motive of nursing, which is caregiving. Unfortunately, this situation is an overlooked aspect, and nurses often ignore it, which increases the likelihood of medical mistakes.
Stress at the workplace is unavoidable, but nurses should not leave it untreated. Nurses can try several ways to manage their stress and relieve their anxiety. Stress management enhances their physiological and physical health and leads to better patient care.
Sometimes, when nurses cannot take out time for important things, they get left behind in their careers too, which is a rising concern knowing there’s an ongoing pandemic. During these trying times, healthcare facilities require nurses that are qualified. However, it’s not all bad because several educational institutes have started offering online degrees like accredited online msn programs to help nurses maintain a healthy balance of work and education.
Moving on, nurses can be proactive and try the below-mentioned methods to manage stress:
- Follow a Healthy Diet
Nurses fully understand the importance of following a healthy diet, as they have undergone training and earned a nursing degree. Still, sometimes due to workload, they skip meals and end up harming themselves.
Nurses must understand that following a healthy diet helps them deal with their issues and perform well at their jobs. Therefore, nurses must set a routine for eating and ensure that they follow a balanced diet and take appropriate quantities of necessary food components.
As much as nutritional food intake is essential, nurses must also abstain from processed food, fried items and limit caffeine to boost their immunity. Moreover, healthy diets help in calming nerves and give a boost of energy.
- Spend a Few Minutes in Nature
Nature is magnificent and offers healing qualities. Spending a few minutes in sunlight and greenery helps people relieve their stress and lift their spirits. Nurses often stay indoors for a longer duration without taking breaks, making them feel stressed without even realizing they’re stressed. But taking a break and walking in the woods for five minutes can do wonders and soothe their nerves.
Several nurses suffer from vitamin D deficiency, and it increases their stress levels. Indeed, the best source of vitamin D is the sun, and even a few minutes of exposure can help generate it. On the other hand, plants purify the air by removing toxins. Nurses can incorporate small pots in their homes or workplace or take a jog in the park.
- Practice Meditation
Nurses often spend time in chaotic healthcare facility centers, and too much noise adds to their anxiety. Therefore, nurses must practice meditation to quiet their minds as it helps to alleviate their spirits. Nurses can use different meditation techniques to train their awareness and achieve a heightened state of focused attention. Meditation has remarkable benefits, and it has proved effective in lowering stress levels.
When nurses feel stressed, they can take a break and practice meditation for a few minutes to achieve calm. Meditation will help them block outside noise, quieten their minds and manage stress.
- Burn some Calories
Being physically active is often associated with weight loss. Still, nurses realize that exercise has positive effects on psychological health. Indulging in a workout burns calories, and helps keep nurses active, and also relieves stress.
Nurses often give excuses that their routines do not allow them to incorporate gym sessions. They can quickly work out at home, take a walk, or jog in a park. However, if nothing seems feasible, they need to make small changes in their daily Routine to incorporate physical activity.
A few examples are taking the stairs instead of elevators or going to the grocery store rather than online shopping can help in reducing anxiety and lift spirits.
- Sleeping Well
Stress often leads to insomnia, which increases the stress level and results in anxiety. In addition, excessive pressure causes the body to produce cortisol that spikes up energy levels. These hormones disturb the sleep cycle, which can further add to anxiety. Nurses need to figure out what helps them calm their minds and sleep well and can try different positions, times and see what works for them.
Sleep-deprived nurses cannot perform with efficiency and are more likely to show negligence. As much as sleeping for fewer hours is unhealthy, oversleeping is equally harmful and can result in higher stress levels.
- Infuse some ‘Me’ time in the Routine
Modern life is busy, and most people do not get time for themselves, which is a primary reason for depression and anxiety. Nurses are compassionate, and they want to give their best to their profession. However, in the pursuit of performing with efficiency, they often neglect themselves. They do not realize that it can make their stressful life more complex and negatively impact their performance.
Nurses must modify their daily Routine and incorporate some minutes of ‘me’ time every day. Pursuing hobbies takes the mind away from everyday problems and is a healthy outlet for stress. Moreover, it gives us a sense of accomplishment and helps us feel better about ourselves.
Stress is an unavoidable aspect of our lives, and workplace stress is an occupational hazard that harms efficiency. Nurses have a challenging job as they strive to provide the best care to patients and often ignore themselves. They work for long hours and sometimes work on multiple shifts in a day without taking any break. This harms their psychological health and affects their decision-making abilities, which raises the chances of medical negligence.
Nurses can modify their lifestyles and take care of their bodies by incorporating stretching exercises in their daily schedule to relieve stress. However, nurses must understand that they cannot pour from an empty vessel and look after their psychological and physical health to perform efficiently.