Nurses have been known to have the toughest jobs. They’re constantly being on their feet to the emotional burden of caring for the sick and dying. There’s no denying that nursing can be a tough profession. Below are stress-relieving tips.
Activities to Minimize Nursing Stress
- Exercise regularly
Exercising has long been proven to reduce stress. But for nurses who are on their feet for 12 hours a day, going for a run after work may not sound very appealing.
One of the best exercises for stress-relief is yoga. Yoga has been proven to improve cardio and circulatory health, manage weight, and boost energy levels. A quick daily routine can help you focus on yourself and blow off the steam accumulated from a long work week.
- Engage in meditation
The best part of meditation is that it can be done at work or at home. If you’re having a stressful day at work, find a quiet place and take five minutes to close your eyes and clear your mind. You may find that some of your stress ebbs away, allowing you to continue your day with a little more energy.
- Do an activity you love
It’s easy to put aside things you love doing in favor of sitting on the couch after a hard day’s work. However, making time for an activity you enjoy, whether it be gardening, painting, reading, or playing a sport, can reduce stress.
- Take a mental health day
If you’re really feeling the stress, in some cases the best move is to simply take a day off. It may feel a little strange to take time off if you’re not sick and don’t have a vacation planned, but the occasional recharge day can go a long way.
Taking a day off can clear your mind and help you refocus.
- Spend time with friends and family
Whether your friends are fellow nurses or not, carving out time to hang out with those you love can help brighten your mood. Spending time with family and friends reduces the risk of depression and high blood pressure.
Find time to schedule even a quick coffee break with a close friend who will listen to you and sympathize with you.
- Try essential oil therapy
Aromatherapy comes in many forms such as oils, candles, and bath salts. With a wide range of scents, each with its own “healing” properties, aromatherapy is an accessible and fairly inexpensive remedy.
If you do plan to utilize aromatherapy or other strong scents in the workplace, be sure to clear it with your employer—some may have allergies or sensitivities to these scents.
- Eat healthy
Changing your diet to incorporate healthier foods can have a long-term impact on your overall mood and energy levels. Diets rich in processed foods and high in refined sugars are linked to an increase in mood disorders such as depression.
Don’t have time to spend meal prepping or sit down for a proper lunch? Try stocking up on mood-boosting foods such as bananas, dark chocolate, unsalted almonds, or unbuttered popcorn. As the saying goes, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so starting off with a healthy meal can help when you find yourself pressed for time on your lunch break.
- Get more sleep
Whether you work the night shift or push through 12-hour shifts, chances are you are not getting the recommended amount of sleep. It is important to let your body rest in between shifts with a job as physically taxing as nursing. Research suggests sleep deprivation is linked to a lowered immune system, increased risk of obesity, and heart disease.
The benefits outweigh anything else: Getting seven to eight hours of sleep each night will help you feel energized and refreshed. Therefore, try blocking out that much time each night to get a solid night’s rest. Try blackout shades for day sleeping if you work at night. Melatonin can also help you adjust your sleep cycle.
- Learn breathing exercises
Breathing exercises may help if you’re feeling overwhelmed or overstressed at work and don’t know what to do. Learning how to control your breathing and center yourself may be the key to getting you through your day.
Nursing stress can happen to anyone in this field. So do what you can to recognize when you’re overwhelmed and try your hand at a few of these relaxing remedies. Returning to work with a clear, refreshed mind will not only benefit you but also your patients.
Clearly, nursing can be a stressful job, but there are plenty of good reasons to stick it out through the tough days. Therefore, check out collegenursingtutors.com for more tips.