Tips for Nurses: Follow These Steps to Keep Stress at Bay
Nursing has a reputation for being exhausting as you have to run around checking multiple patients and administering them care. You also need to be vigilant since you can’t miss minute readings for a patient’s vital signs. The pandemic of 2019 highlights a nurse’s contribution to healthcare significantly. The way these professionals put their lives at risk to provide care indefinitely is unparalleled. So with numerous tasks to do in a day, it’s no surprise nurses get stressed.
Our physical health can only handle so much if we are consistently on our feet with little rest, communicating, and thinking, guarantee burnout. Stress can become a silent killer. It can go from being weary to severe fatigue and eventually collapsing. Your mental health starts crashing, and you cannot focus at work without getting jittery and anxious. That’s why it’s necessary to learn how to manage stress. Here are some tips you can use a nurse to manage stress:
- Make A Routine For Yourself
Most nurses choose to study for a higher degree while working, as, without a doubt, education helps with career advancement. With a busy schedule, it’s not easy to draw a balance between work and education, but a routine can help you out. If you apply for a post master’s certificate online, you can maintain a proper schedule for your class, as most online courses are self-paced. Although, you need to log in and ensure you submit your assignments any time before a deadline. So you can mix and match your degree with work. If you have a morning shift, push your classes for the night. If you have a night shift, push them for the morning. You can create a schedule that works for you and doesn’t make life harder for yourself. However, a proper program also helps you manage time and work effectively.
- Try Aromatherapy
Therapies and massages come under holistic medicine. As a practitioner, it is okay to lean on holistic medicine now and then. Massage is excellent for your body as it helps release your muscles from a tense position. Aromatherapy is using plants and herbs that contain specific properties. These herbs and plants get made into mists and oils for your usage. Lavender is the most common plant associated with relaxation. You can easily find a vial of lavender oil and use it to massage your problem areas, such as the nape of your neck and the soles of your feet. If you get frequent headaches, press down on your temples. The combination of scent and massage will give you peace. You’ll feel much looser and less stressed as you go about your day.
- Draw Boundaries
As a nurse, you may have to check up on many patients per day, but you can negotiate your workload. When you complete your work for the day, give yourself time to rest. As much as you’d like to contribute to the healthcare sector, you need rest too. Let your peers know if you’re sleeping, and don’t take on new work till you recoup. If it’s not an emergency, you should try and go home. You can only care as a nurse if you’re in good shape yourself. If you’re too exhausted, you’ll mess up cases. Fatigued medical practitioners also have a chance of malpractice, which may lead to expensive and extensive lawsuits. That is another added stress on your plate. So when you know you need a break, let your team know.
- Try Recreational Activities
It would help if you had hobbies outside of work. They don’t need to be complicated or tedious; they should be anything that makes you happy. People have different hobbies that they enjoy doing in their leisure time. Some people like to read while others like to cook. Recreational activities help you isolate yourself from work. You’re more focused on what you’re doing than thinking of what’s at the hospital. You also feel a rush of emotions such as happiness and peace.
In most cases, you feel the stress leaving your body. Recreational activities can also act like coping mechanisms. Whenever you feel stressed, you can start doing them. Numerous apps allow you to engage in multiple hobbies.
- Try Eating Healthy
If you eat greasy and heavily processed food, it takes a toll on your system. When your body has too much food to digest, you start feeling unwell. Heavy meals make you feel bloated and even make you sweat. You feel nauseous and even have trouble walking around. While greasy and fast food is okay occasionally, try lighter meals if you have too much work. Go for lean meat that is preferably grilled or soups. You may want to have a salad or fruits on the side. While you may feel tempted to get coffee, stick to water. Also, keep snacks for yourself as you work. You can find a variety of snack mixes. Try those with nuts and pretzels over chips or any unhealthy snack. Food and water can also help you remove stress. It’s one of the ways our body tells us to look after ourselves. Skipping meals may contribute to your anxiety, and you may feel more agitated instead of fresh.
Nursing is a busy profession as there are always too many tasks that need handling. You have to work around the clock in many shifts, so, naturally, stress comes with the work. Since none of us can completely eradicate stress, we can only work around them. It would help if you started by making a schedule that enables you to balance work and academia. Maybe try incorporating aromatherapy into your routine. It would help if you also had activities outside of work that allowed you to cope with stress. Don’t be afraid to draw boundaries and ask for a break when you need rest. Finally, switch up your meals to healthier and nutritious options that keep you light on your feet.