Crazy Nursing shifts-How Do You Deal With Them?

Nursing is a great career choice and there are many specialties to choose from. But nursing can be physically and mentally draining on even the toughest of folks.  With the nursing shortage, charting everything down to the patient's dog's birthday and often dealing with life and death situations it's no surprise that nursing is one of the most stressful professions on the planet. 


So what can nurses do to ease the stress and strain of working crazy shifts when you're running around like a chicken with no head most of the day?  

Well, here are a few tips that may help you find your groove when you feel like running for the hills, changing your name and living as a hermit for the rest of your life!

1.  Plan your week.  If you work three 12-hour-shifts, then work your family life around your work schedule. Do your grocery shopping at the beginning of your work week and cook your meals in bulk.  Portion out meals and freeze them. This will save you a bunch of time and energy, and you won't have to cook on the days you are working, but you and your family will still eat well. 

2. Clean once a week.  No, not your body guys! There may be some complaints at work if you only shower once a week. I'm talking about your house.  Listen, no one likes to clean, but everyone loves a clean house. So give your house a good cleaning once every week and this way it'll stay fairly clean the rest of the week. I don't know about you, but I feel depressed when my home isn't clean and much happier when it is. 

3.Learn to LEAVE WORK AT WORK. Stop "crying over spilled milk."  I used to have an awful habit of worrying about every little thing when I left work. I would wonder how every patient was doing. I would obsess on how I could have done things differently and how I will do things the next work day.  New nurses do this a lot, and it leads to stress.  Buy some good audio books and use them in the car on the way home. It'll get your mind off work and help you transition back into the real world and home-life. 

4.  Stop being the "yes, nurse."  Your time off is valuable.  Stop agreeing to work on your days off and stay late on the days you do work.  The job will still be there when you're dead and gone, so don't kill yourself sooner for them.  It's frequently not appreciated, and your body will pay the price.  If your job doesn't understand the importance of time off for revitalizing the mind, body, and soul, and then you should.  A tired nurse makes mistakes, so get your rest and enjoy your time off with family and friends. No one ever lies on their deathbed and says, "Man, I wish I'd of worked more."  Family and friends are what's important in life. 

5. Get some exercise. I know, I know, most people hate working out, but it's healthy to do it, and you wanna live a long time, right?  I used to be the world's worst procrastinator.  Then I realized that I was torturing myself. I would worry all day about how I needed to work-out. I would talk about working out and try to convince myself of the importance of doing it every day, instead of just freaking doing it. Get up in the morning and just do it! Nike had major success with this slogan because so many people are guilty of procrastinating.  Get it over with and move on with your day. You'll be amazed at how proud you'll be of yourself and how great you'll feel. You'll also realize that it's just not as bad as you'd thought it would be. Nothing ever is!

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