Learn what are the best stress management tips for nurses.
A nurse’s job is one of the most rewarding jobs there is. It is also one of the most stressful. Nurses often have to be on their feet all the time, deal with 20 or more patients a day, do paperwork at the end of the day, and still keep that smile on their faces the entire time.
Having this much stress is something that nurses get used to. Some even thrive in the need for multi-tasking. But when the stress becomes too much for the body to handle, their health could suffer.
The good news is that stress management for nurses is not impossible no matter how busy you are.
Read also: 8 Ways To Stop Bringing Work Stress Home
Here are 5 simple tips for stress management for nurses that every nurse should try.
Stress Management for Nurses
1. Be organized
Some nurses may think that this is an impossible task as their workdays are often not the same. While it is true that no two shifts are the same, there are still things that you can keep organized while you are at work.
One of the best ways to become more organized is to list down all the things that you need to do for the day. This will give you direction through the chaos of your daily activities.
Having a list of tasks to do, even if you are not able to do them immediately one after the other, will at least point you to the next task. Instead of leaving you confused as to what should be done, you already have a guide which you can follow.
With your very busy day, it is possible to forget a task or two. A list will help you pick up where you left off after you averted a crisis or after you’ve had lunch. Listing things you need to do for the day helps remind you of what needs to be done.
A list also helps you prioritize which tasks are more important and which tasks can be done at a later time. Seeing that you have ticked off that item from your list also gives you a sense of achievement.
Keeping your area free of clutter is another way to become more organized. When your things are all over the nurse’s station, it can make finding things harder. You waste precious time and energy searching through piles of paperwork. If you have them stacked neatly or organized in some way, you won’t need to turn the entire nurse’s station upside down to find a patient file for example.
You may argue that you are already doing 36 hour shifts at work and have had countless hours of running around the hospital and lifting patients. With such physical activity, why do nurses need to exercise more?
You need to exercise for your well-being. As you exercise, your body releases happy hormones called endorphins. Exercising also ups your energy levels so you have something to fuel you throughout your busy day.
There are many forms of exercises you as a nurse can do. You can try doing aerobic exercises to keep you fit and give you energy. You can also try yoga, Pilates, or other exercises that combine meditation and movement. These exercises have the added bonus of allowing you to just be aware of your body and let the stress out. Most people doing yoga and meditation say that these activities also help them relax.
Exercising, most especially weight lifting, can help you become stronger so you have the strength to lift patients on and off the gurney and similar situations. Lifting weight strengthens muscles and improves grip and balance.
Read also: 15 Ways To Relax At Home After Work
3. Get some sleep
As a nurse, you know that there will be days when you won’t get to sleep at all because of the crazy shifts you have or because of the many patients you have to look after. A huge chunk of your time may be like this. But for the days when you can or hours that you are free, make sure to get as much restorative sleep as much as you can.
Stressors in your work as a nurse can disrupt normal body repair processes that happen while you sleep. It can also affect your immune system. Getting enough restorative sleep gives your body the time to rest and regain your strength so you can be ready to face your day ahead.
If a full 8 hours of sleep isn’t possible, try to sneak in a power nap or two. A power nap usually lasts 15-25 minutes. Having one of these throughout your busy day will help keep you sharp, alert, and free of stress.
4. Write positive notes to yourself
One of the many things that a nurse feels stressed about is how much more they need to do everyday. Nurses often feel like their tasks seems endless, that they need to be at more than two places at a time, and that their time is always divided into many different things at the same time.
When you have too many of these thoughts going on in your head, it can affect how you feel about yourself. It can make you feel depressed, self-conscious, and unhappy with your life.
Manage your stress by telling yourself that you are alright, that you can handle everything that comes your way, and that you can make things work. Keep thinking of the positive things you’ve done instead of focusing on the things that you were not able to do. Know that you cannot please everybody, so why not just please yourself.
5. Pamper yourself
If you have some free time, why not go on a spa getaway with the people you want to spend time with the most. Or go on a spa trip by yourself.
If you don’t have time to go on a luxurious spa getaway, try a simple personal spa treatment in your house. Place a few drops of relaxing oils such as lavender and Rose oil in your warm bath and just soak the stress away. Or diffuse some other relaxing scents in a candle burner or reed diffuser to get that spa-like ambiance inside your home. You may also want to unwind with a glass of wine while you soak in the tub.
You can also try massages. Massages can help soothe your tired muscles and invigorate your senses. They also help with better blood circulation. The constant kneading and the warm oils used can stimulate proper blood flow while relaxing your body at the same time.
Read also: 12 Really Fun Activities To Reduce Stress
Stress management for nurses is not easy. Hopefully these simple tips and tricks can help you manage your stress effectively. Try them out and see how you can make your days less stressful and more fulfilling.