How to Relieve Stress as a Registered Nurse - Dream Health

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Friday, 30 April 2021

How to Relieve Stress as a Registered Nurse

Work can leave you feeling stressed and burnt-out if you don’t look after yourself. No matter what you do, it’s important to save time for the things that put you in touch with your zen. This might be anything from unwinding with a glass of wine in the bath on a Friday or taking a peaceful walk with your thoughts. Some jobs are more taxing than others, and nursing is up there with one of the most difficult jobs where people put their patients first and need to adapt to fit a range of supporting roles. The past year and a half will have been particularly stressful, and they likely feel ready for some well-deserved respite. Throughout this article, we will observe what makes nursing so stressful and what can be done to tackle it.

Becoming a Nurse

Obtaining a registered nurse (RN) status involves a lot of hard work. Generally, you will need a bachelor’s degree before you can begin the testing process. Once you have a degree you can apply for your licence; you will need to pass the Canadian Practical Nurse Registration Examination. At this point, you can legally practice as a nurse and continue helping those in need.

Your journey to achieving RN has already proven stressful. Unfortunately, the fun doesn’t stop there if you want to get the best pay for the work you put in. You can expand your knowledge by completing a nursing master’s online at a university like Carson-Newman, saving you the aggravation of travelling to a campus.

The Stress Continues

After roughly 4-5 years of hard work and dedication, you will have achieved your initial goal of becoming a fully qualified nurse. Now it’s time to get your teeth stuck into the real stresses:

       Overworked - so much work but so little time.

       Lack of support from higher-ups.

       Deadline pressure - large tasks with small timeframes.

       Sleep deprivation - shift workers do very long hours with very little downtime.

       Understaffing makes a difficult job even more demanding.

       Low progression - there aren’t many options to progress once you’re fully qualified.

       Can face violence and threats from some patients.

       Dealing with deathly patients takes a toll.

       Possible exposure to diseases and needlestick injuries.

The list could go on, but we would be here all day going through every way nursing is stressful. The bottom line is that nurses are prone to workplace-induced burnout. With that in mind, let’s dive into ways you can help alleviate the stress.

Easy Exercise

Working out is well known to do wonders for your mental health, including reducing stress levels. Don’t worry though, we know that nurses can spend more than 12 hours on their feet, and the last thing you’ll want to do is go for a run or do other strenuous exercises.

Luckily, one of the best exercises for relieving stress is yoga. As well as benefiting your mental health, yoga can improve weight management, boost energy, and increase circulatory health. You don’t have to spend hours contorted like a praying mantis, just ten minutes a day can help you out.

Find Your Activity

Slouching down on the sofa for hours after a hard day being an absolute hero can seem appealing, but it wastes time and won’t do any favours for your stress levels. Instead, find an activity that you thoroughly love and can get lost in. This can be anything you want, like gardening, reading, or playing video games. Surprisingly, adult colouring is a really good way to relieve stress, so get back to your childhood routines and wash life away for a bit.

Make Time for Friends

Life as a nurse is extraordinarily busy, and it can be hard to make time to see your close family and friends. However, it’s beneficial for your mental health to schedule time to get together, even if you just grab a coffee to vent off the frustrations of life. Being around your family and close friends is proven to decrease the risks of depression and high blood pressure.

Just Stop

You might feel like you’re letting the world down if you take a day for yourself, but it’s better to remove yourself for one day than feel burnout later on. Taking a mental health day can be extremely rejuvenating and put life back into perspective. Have your lie in and treat yourself by doing things you’ve been putting off. By the time you go to work the next day, you will have hit the reset button and be in much better stead to offer care to your patients.

Grab a Healthy Bite

As a nurse, you probably already know the benefits of keeping a healthy diet but let’s be real, it’s easier said than done. Although you work extremely long hours, don’t fall prey to just grabbing a coffee and a slice of pizza before cracking on; foods like this don’t offer anywhere near enough nutrition. There are plenty of ways you can eat healthily even if you don’t have time to prep meals. When you do your weekly shop, throw in some mood-boosting snacks you can easily take to work.

Channel Your Zen

Meditation is a fantastic way to release stress, and there are so many different variations that everyone should be able to find a way that works. All you need to do is find somewhere quiet that you can switch off for a few minutes. Nowadays, you can find some fantastic apps that offer guided mediation. Keep an open mind and help your stress fly away.

The Takeout

Hopefully, you have a better understanding of how nursing is one of the most stressful professions but have a few tactics to fight back. Your work is important, and a lot of people rely on you to get through their hardships, but you need to take time for yourself as well. With that in mind, cut yourself some slack and find what works for you - a peaceful you equals a better you.

 

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