What can you do as a nurse to decrease your stress?
There are numerous ways to lessen the amount of stress we feel every day on the job. Many nurses today feel so overwhelmed at work that they tend to take their jobs home. Often we work overtime to complete that seemingly endless charting, take care of patients, fill in for other nurses that called in sick or are on vacation, or just to help out. Sometimes we feel as if the paperwork and all the micro-managing prevents us from doing what we all went to nursing school for...to be our patients' advocate and care for them in their times of need.
Often though, things we can do to relieve our stress are overlooked because we're too busy taking care of others.
Here are some practical ideas that may help you decrease your level of stress:
1. Take care of you! This seems simple enough, but with all the other people you care for both at home and in the workplace, it can be hard to take time out for yourself. But don't forget about YOUR needs. Treat yourself to a manicure, massage or some retail “therapy”. Do what makes you happy even if you can only afford an hour of your time. It will make a difference.
2. Get organized. Learn to prioritize your work life and your home life. Delegate if needed. Don't try to do everything at once. I know, I know, sometimes that's impossible when you have a doctor screaming at you over the phone, pharmacy wants to speak with you now to clarify a medication, a family is upset because a patient doesn't have a cup of coffee and someone down the hall is coding. Work on prioritizing & keep in mind that gossiping to your fellow nurses is not part of the picture. When you're organized in your thinking your actions usually follow. So think things out and put all the things you need to do in an order that makes the most sense to get through your day in an organized fashion. You can even call it organized chaos, but at least you’ll have some structure to your day.
3. Don't skip breaks or lunches. You need that time to decompress. Try to find somewhere quiet to relax and take some deep breaths.
4. Don't rush through report and don't allow others to pressure you because they're trying to get out early. You need all the information you can get about each patient in order to give them the care they deserve and prepare yourself for the shift. Remember, being prepared for things helps to decrease that stress level.
5. Spend time with your family and let them know they’re important too. Don't take your work home. Use the time you spend traveling home for decompressing from work and energizing for your family. So when you get home your family won't feel neglected and less important to you than your job.
6. Try yoga! It's an excellent stress reliever and here's a great yoga book just for nurses that you will really enjoy.
Do you have ways to reduce stress that you would like to share with us? If so, comment below