5 Ways to Overcome the Stresses of Nursing

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You love your nursing job; you love your patients. You love helping people manage their health better. You couldn’t imagine doing anything else for a living, but with the demanding hours and responsibility, the job is highly stressful — perhaps more so than many other occupations. If you’re effectively managing your stress, you can’t do your best to treat others. It may be used to caring for others, but it’s time you cared for yourself.

Take Control of Your Career

A lot of the stress involved with being a nurse has to do with rotating schedules or feeling inadequately rewarded for your work. Pursue additional licensure or an advanced degree to give yourself more room for advancement and more control over your career. An online masters in nursing program is perfect for busy professionals in the medical field; you can view details here.

Once you earn an advanced degree, you can seek promotion or a position at another medical facility that will provide better hours and pay, thus significantly reducing your stresslevel.Make Time for YourselfWhen you barely have time for your patients, family and friends, how can you find time for yourself? It’s a question nurses ask themselves day after day. True to their nature, nurses too often push aside themselves to make time for everyone else. However, ignoring your needs is likely to lead to a breakdown. Here are some simple suggestions for making time for yourself each day:

  • Get up 15 minutes early or go to sleep 15 minutes late
  • Use your lunch hour or your break — and leave work for that time
  • Close your eyes for a few minutes and meditate or listen to music
  • Read a chapter of a book per day
  • Go for a short walk around the block
  • Watch a guilty-pleasure TV show by yourself

Meet With Mentors

You’re not the only nurse who’s been overwhelmed, so seek support in the nurses around you. Meet with mentors at your medical office in your downtime for tips and guidance. Plan a weekend retreat for a group of nurses to attend a local event in the community, or go for a hike or start a book club together. Reach out to other nurses, and you’ll find they’re more than willing to lend a hand.

Work Out and Eat Well

An exercise and healthy diet regimen is essential to health living, but they’re especially important to nurses with high-stress jobs. Eating right and working out gives you the stamina and energy to tackle a long day on your feet. Exercise is also an excellent way to clear your mind.

Be Creative

Nursing is rewarding work, but there are a number of difficult days, too. Some patients suffer or may pass away, and a nurse can feel helpless. Other patients are ornery and difficult to work with. Find a positive way to channel your emotions and relax, like a creative hobby.

Nurse.com suggests writing poetry, citing poetry workshops targeting nurses particularly that help nurses work through the emotions they feel alongside people who have been in their shoes. Write stories or simply journal your feelings if you prefer. If you enjoy working with your hands, try crafting or painting. Find a creative outlet that lets you take a breather from your daily schedule while processing your emotions.

Effectively managing your stress will lead to a positive cycle. A well-rested nurse who reduces her stress levels and copes with her stress in healthy ways will care for others more effectively. A nurse who does her job well will build happier relationships with her patients and feel prouder of her work. This, in turn, decreases stress levels — making the nurse a happier, better-rested person.

About the Author:Maria B. Cook is a registered nurse who’ worked in the medical field for over 15 years. She recently got received masters in nursing.

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