Everybody suffers from stress. And a lot of that stress will, in most of us anyway, be strongly related to our jobs. If you’re a waiter at a busy restaurant, you may suffer from decision fatigue from time to time. If you are working in construction, you might suffer from noise-related stress from time to time. If you are a door-to-door salesman, you might suffer from stress-related to rejection from time to time. In the end, every kind of job can be stressful in some way. Even the cushy ones that require you to sit in front of a computer screen all the time. But one of the harshest jobs in existence has got to be nursing.
Nurses deserve a lot of respect. These people voluntarily choose to go through one of many nursing programs, full well knowing they are going to have to do 12 hours days against pretty low pay. If you are a nurse, then you’ll know that nurses have to get up early and go home late. All-day long, you take care of sick people. And at the end of their grueling shifts, you go home late. Is it any wonder that you’re feeling a tad bit stressed out occasionally? It’s no surprise to me!
Nurses are caring people. But caring people don’t always take proper care of themselves. And yet, that’s exactly what you have to do. You have to take care of yourself first, before you can even begin to think about caring for somebody else. Being an altruistic person, you might feel like it’s selfish to put yourself first from time to time. But if you don’t, you’ll burn out and you won’t be able to provide proper care for your patients, anymore. For this reason, it’s of the utmost importance that you quiet down that machine in your head, let the silence come to you, and just relax in the present moment.
Without further ado, let’s have a look at the top 5 ways that you, as a busy nurse, can manage your stress in a constructive way, so that your mind will stay peaceful and quiet all throughout your career. (1)
Create A Comfortable Workplace
If you’re going to spend most of your adult life working at a hospital, then you might as well create a workplace that feels comfortable to you. Put up photos of your loved ones on your desk. Bring your earbuds, and your smartphone, and make sure it’s loaded with all your favorite music, so that you can relax for a few minutes when the hospital is having a not-so-busy moment. Hang up a poster or painting you like, or a drawing from one of your children. Everything that reminds you of home, will make you feel at home. Wear proper footwear, in which you can stand and walk comfortably all day long. Get an adjustable desk and a comfortable chair. It’s a process of elimination, really. Identify & eliminate everything that annoys you and gets rid of it, just as long until your workplace feels just as comfortable as your own home does.
Start Keeping A Diary
For quite some time now, it has been a well-known fact that writing down your feelings can help reduce stress. The brain perceives it in kind of the same way as if you were talking to an actual fellow human being. It’s a fairly simple, low-tech solution to ease a complicated, overwhelmed mind. So grab that pen and start jotting down how your day went, what happened to you, and how it made you feel. Keep doing it until you feel the load on your heart start to lighten. That’s how you know you’re on the right path. Write as often and as long as you need to.
Stick To A Rigid Schedule
If there’s anything that creates stress, it is the necessity to make decisions. There is a thing such as decision fatigue, and you’ll want to prevent it at all costs. You can do so by planning out your whole day. Heck, you could even plan out your whole week if you had to. From eating to working to sleeping… just about everything can be planned. You can even plan for some time so that you can get some rest and relaxation. Planning an hour or two for relaxing is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Just knowing the R&R is coming, can make you feel better already.
Ask A Friendly Colleague For Help
Most of us have taken up the habit of going at it alone in everything we do. We live in such an isolated society, that we have almost forgotten that we can be friendly with each other and that we can help each other out. Sure, some people are selfish jerks, but most people are more than willing to help a person out. Especially if that person is a friend. So be sure to make friends with your colleagues, because at some point you might need them. Whenever you run into a challenge you’re not sure you’re up to, this can be frustrating. Don’t keep walking around, bottling this up. Instead, ask your friendly colleagues for help and/or advice. Before you know it, you’ll have leveled up your skills and thereby also your confidence. This goes a long way in having a peaceful mind. (2)
If something aggravates you, then find out what it is. Not everybody is always aware of what’s bugging them. But it’ll kind of be present in the background at all times. If that’s you, then maybe it’s time to develop some more awareness of who you are and what pushes your buttons. Identifying the problem is half the battle. Once you know what your problem is, you can actively start working towards a solution.
Get A Good Mentor
When you’re doing a hard job such as being a nurse, then it’s obviously important that you get a good mentor that can guide you in the right direction at any time. It’s stressful to have to figure everything out on your own. It’s even more stressful if you are unable to do so and nobody is around to get help from. As long as you are still learning, you’ll have to have the knowledge that somebody is watching over you. This creates peace of mind. But a mentor’s task isn’t to just teach you how to do stuff. A mentor’s task is also to listen to your problems, and how they make you feel and then suggest productive ways to deal with them. As an experienced person, he’s felt it all before. And he’ll give you the best advice for dealing with your particular situation.
Keep Work And Home Separated
When you go home, don’t bring your workplace and all its problems with you. There is absolutely nothing you can do while you are at home. So you might as well just let go of it all. Your home life is where you come first for a change. You have to savor the moments with your partner, your children, and/or your pets if you have any. Your patients aren’t the only ones who need you. Your loved ones need you to. So when you are at home, make sure to engage with your loved ones in order to take your mind off your work. (3)