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How to Deal With Stress As A Nurse

There are many good reasons to choose nursing as your profession. Even though it is an exciting career, it doesn’t mean that the work isn’t extremely taxing. Nursing can not only be physically demanding but mentally exhausting as well. It is important for nursing-students to stay motivated in nursing school and not to fall in the trap of mind-fatigue.

So, if you reach a point when you think you’ve had enough, don’t be discouraged. In order to continue, you must first take care of yourself. Here are just a few ways to reduce stress, unwind, and get back on track.

Listen To Your Body

The physical part of nursing can take a real toll on your body.

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You are constantly on your feet, moving heavy objects, and lifting and managing patients who are sick or injured.

It’s no wonder you’re feeling stressed. Every morning before you do anything else, do a mental check of your body. It is easy to get so involved in work that we forget to check in with ourselves.

Be aware of your body, where it is feeling the pressure more; what parts are in pain, sore, or tense? Take the time to address these issues before you start another day caring for someone else.

Do Some Deep Breathing Exercises

Deep breathing exercises are a very effective relaxation technique that you can do in any place or at any time of the day, but not for an hour or two after a heavy meal.

When you breathe deeply, to the point of expanding the abdomen, your diaphragm moves, stimulating the vagus nerve.

This activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which minimizes your stress hormone responses, and helps you relax.

Get Better Sleep

When you finish your shift, try to get to sleep as soon as possible. If you are working the graveyard shift, try wearing blue light blocking glasses on your way home in the morning. This can help to prevent negative effects on your body’s circadian clock.

When you get home, follow your regular bedtime routine; take a shower, brush your teeth, and put on your nightwear. This will help to trick the brain into getting relax-mode for bedtime.

Practice Meditation

Meditating can help you to achieve a good balance in your life.

Carve out a few minutes of your day to meditate and get in touch with your body and mind. It allows you to shift from a negative state of mind to a positive one.

Regular meditation can bring more happiness and keep you mentally calm and focused.

Drink Water

We all know how important it is to stay hydrated.

After all, water is the source of life. Still, there are other ways that water can be used to relieve stress. Even the sound of water can have a powerfully calming effect.

Start making it a habit to take your breaks near a water fountain, pond, or lake. Don’t just rush in and out of the shower. Carve out a little time to soak in a bath.

Take some time to go swimming or sailing or visit a spa for some luxury treatments.

Exercise More

Exercise doesn’t have to be something overly strenuous. A simple walk around the block or a few morning calisthenics may be all that is needed to get the blood moving and ease your level of stress.

When you exercise, your body releases endorphins that immediately go to work on calming some of those frayed nerves that might be getting to you.

Socialize

There is no such thing as all work and no play. We are all social beings by nature; so, we aren’t ever going to be happy and content if we spend the lion’s share of our lives totally immersed in work without any benefit of socialization.

The more you let people into your life, the more connections you make, the more relaxed you’ll be.

Find some people you feel comfortable letting into your inner circle and share the things that are stressing you out with them. They could be the ones to help you solve the problems or see things in a totally different way.

No one will ever doubt the high level of stress that comes with a nursing career.

However, by applying these basic guidelines and using them to manage your stress, you could find yourself in a much happier position and feeling good about yourself and your job.