Nurses are an essential part of the healthcare sector. Caring for patients, communicating with doctors, administering medicine, and checking vital signs are essential duties of these nurses. However, caring for others can take a toll on mental, emotional, and physical health. Nurses work in a stressful environment, and several factors make things stressful and increase burnout. Nurses have to work in a time crunch, and their responsibilities are time-sensitive. Everything is urgent, from lab reports to administering medicine, and workforce shortages worsen by increasing the workload. Most nurses have 12-hour shifts which cause even more stress. In addition, nurses are at risk of contracting infectious diseases. They are also likely to deal with distressing situations, such as deathly ill patients. Lastly, a dysfunctional climate and conflict between colleagues make things worse.
The family environment can also pile on the stress. Managing family obligations with work can become an emotionally taxing task. Nurses with children have to juggle multiple roles. Women are most likely to suffer from stress because they are usually solely responsible for their homes. These factors make nursing one of the most challenging careers in the world.
Moreover, sometimes, nurses join a degree program to excel in their careers. It can bring more stress to their busy life. The never-ending commute can make things challenging and take a lot of time. Fortunately, these nursing students can use technology and join any online program for a flexible schedule. They can opt for an online nursing masters degree that can cut down on travel expenses and time.
Following are some ways nurses can manage their stress and anxiety:
- Breathing Exercise
People do not think about their breathing. But, how people breathe can have a significant impact on their health. Psychologists recommend deep breathing exercises for people struggling with anxiety and depression. There are several benefits of deep breathing. The guided breathing exercises from www.breathwrk.com help alleviate anxiety, get energized, improve endurance and more. Breathing can improve blood pressure and regulate adrenaline levels. So, nurses should improve their breathing techniques to manage stress. Medical professionals should pick a time every day for breathing practices and do them in a relaxing atmosphere. They can use the on-call room for their exercises. The best part is that nurses can use these techniques anywhere to reduce their stress. There are several deep breathing techniques including, belly breathing and the 4-7-8 technique. The primary goal of deep breathing exercises is to extend breaths to the belly instead of shallow breaths.
- Meditation to Manage Chronic Stress
Nurses can use meditation to manage their stress. Meditation does not only helps us become self-aware, but it also improves focus. While all meditation techniques do not work everywhere, medical professionals can use some of them to relax. Several resources can help professionals block out distractions, including applications and YouTube videos. It may take nurses some time to get in the flow of meditation. But everyone has their spin on it. Some people might want to use relaxation habits or walk in a calming atmosphere. In contrast, others may reflect on a relaxing song. Do whatever works for you.
- Taking Some Time out for Exercise
Exercise releases endorphins that keep us happy and brighten our day. And while nurses stay on their feet all day long, they need to get fresh air to remain motivated. Joining a gym is another excellent opportunity to keep fit and socialize with others. However, scheduling some exercise time is challenging for people with long shifts. They can use their lunch breaks to fight the monotony and get out of the midday slump. Nurses can also opt for at-home workouts by following online tutorials.
- Getting Eight Hours of Quality Sleep
Every adult should get at least eight hours of sleep daily. Sleep can induce our bodies to produce cortisol which makes humans feel energetic. So, lack of sleep cannot only increase stress, but it can also make us feel tired. Sleep also affects our weight and immune system. Therefore, nurses must follow some sleep improvement techniques to reduce stress. However, some stress factors can make things challenging. For example, overburdened nurses may find it impossible to shut off their brains at bedtime. Fortunately, sleep enhancement techniques can improve our sleep patterns. Medical professionals can practice deep breathing exercises before going to bed. They should also avoid caffeine during the day to improve their sleep.
- Considering Therapy
Sometimes, self-care techniques are not enough for chronic stress. Patients should get counseling to manage their anxiety. Psychologists can help medical professionals address underlying issues and reduce symptoms of stress through therapy. There are several kinds of counseling techniques, including cognitive therapy, behavior therapy, and group therapy. Therapists may also recommend medication to people struggling with severe stress and burnout.
Nurses play a challenging role within healthcare. They are the first point of contact for incoming patients and spend the most time with them. Nurses also have to deal with stressful things during long shifts. The toxic environment and challenging schedule can cause burnout and chronic stress. Therefore, nurses must manage their stress to stay happy. They must find activities to help them decompress and relax. However, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to relaxing. Everyone has their techniques and stress relievers.