A nurse's work is meaningful and purposeful since they provide care to those in need. This work is also physically and emotionally demanding, which can be stressful. When faced with busy schedules and demanding responsibilities, those nurses providing quality care to patients often struggle with managing stress.
Maintaining health and satisfaction in their work requires nurses to find ways to deal with stress. Breathing techniques, meditation, and exercise can help them manage stress. They could also investigate sleep management and therapy methods.
Let’s check out some ways nurses can manage stress:
Finding Work/Life Balance
Nursing is a profession often plagued by burnout due to chaotic shifts and ongoing exposure to death and trauma, preventing them from achieving a work-life balance. This balance becomes even more difficult to attain if the nurses are continuing education. To help achieve this balance, nurses can enroll in virtual programs that can easily fit into their busy schedules.
Many reputable universities offer progress online degrees such as online BSN programs or RN to BSN programs to assist ambitious nurses in advancing their careers. The fact that even more advanced degrees are now surfacing, such as the MSN online program or MSN to DNP programs, shows how institutions and workplaces are working together to help nurses achieve this work-life balance so they can continue progressing while keeping their mental health intact.
Breathing Deeply To Reduce Stress
The way people breathe has profound effects on their health, even though it may seem trivial. Stress and anxiety can be reduced by deep breathing. Not only does it help improve mood, but it also helps boost lung function, blood pressure, and other aspects of health.
In addition to helping reduce stress symptoms, breathing techniques can be used anytime and anywhere. To receive greater benefits from breathing exercises, practice them for five to fifteen minutes.
Here are some tips:
- Establish a consistent time for breathing sessions within daily routines
- Find a comfortable, quiet, and accessible place to conduct them
- Wear comfortable clothing
Breathing deeply involves taking extended breaths all the way into the belly rather than taking short, shallow breaths in the chest, which can cause anxiety and fatigue. When dealing with stress, deep breathing often involves breathing through the nose instead of the mouth and counting, then slowly exhaling the air through the mouth.
Using Meditation To Reduce Stress
Meditation is another way to relax and reduce stress. If you need to meditate, you should find a calm, quiet place. However, you do not always need to do that. Meditating in any situation can be beneficial. Nurses who struggle to relax or to block out external distractions can take help from classes, videos, recordings, and mobile apps.
Meditation involves clearing the mind of negativity and replacing it with positive energy. In meditation, one seeks to quiet the jumbled flow of consciousness that can lead to stress and anxiety.
Meditation is the practice of removing unnecessary information from the mind and creating a calm state of mind. It helps people achieve deep relaxation and mental tranquility. As a result, nurses can become more patient and tolerant and experience fewer negative emotions. It will help them combat stress on the job and reconnect with a sense of purpose. Nurses can also benefit from meditation in the following ways:
- Taking a fresh look at a situation
- Improved self-awareness.
- Keeping the present in mind
- Easily managing stress
Meditation takes time to develop, so each individual determines how to get into a routine. Nurses can learn a number of relaxation techniques to help develop strong relaxation habits, including body scanning or evaluating and relaxing different areas of the body. Relaxation can be enhanced by walking in a serene environment, paying attention to the present moment, feeling grateful, or taking the time to contemplate a book or song.
Engaging In Stress-Relieving Exercises
Nursing professionals can manage stress better by incorporating exercise into their daily routines. Exercise is one of the best ways to relieve stress since it releases physical tension and boosts endorphins. Exercising can also make it easier for you to lift heavy objects and stand for long periods of time.
How To Schedule exercise into a routine?
Nursing workers who work long shifts or have busy schedules after work may have difficulty fitting in exercise time. Despite the fact that going to the gym or taking exercise classes might be ideal, nurses can find other ways to exercise during working hours for stress relief.
In contrast to being tethered to desks during work hours, nurses can walk in the corridors during their shifts, keeping their bodies in shape. If exercising during the workday is not possible for nurses, they can take short walks outside during lunch breaks, walk outside in the park, take stairs instead of riding the elevator and perform squats and lunges during breaks.
Managing Stress Through Sleep
There is a direct relationship between stress and sleep: stress can cause insomnia, and insomnia can exacerbate stress. Nurses can improve their performance in the workplace by reducing stress, which leads to better sleep. Improved sleep is also a stress-reducing technique.
A stress-induced spike in energy levels is caused by the body producing too much cortisol and other hormones. The hormones can disrupt the sleep cycle during prolonged periods of stress, impairing mood regulation and resulting in poor sleep quality. Consequently, the person becomes more irritable and frustrated. Stress is linked to chronic insomnia or a chronic inability to fall or stay asleep.
There are certain stress factors that may disrupt sleep more than others. When you're overworked at work, it can be harder to quiet your mind at night. You may experience depression, be suffering from a painful condition, lack time for exercise or relaxation, or have financial or relationship problems that disrupt your sleep. Overeating or excessive alcohol consumption and unhealthy coping mechanisms can also disrupt sleep.
The importance of having healthy sleeping patterns for an individual's overall well-being is becoming increasingly obvious. Sleeping well has been associated with reducing cases of heart disease, inflammation, and diabetes. In addition to stress reduction, sleeping can also reduce depression and anxiety.
Stress Management Therapies
If self-care is not enough, there are several external resources that can help relieve stress. Counselors and psychologists provide different kinds of therapy that can help reduce stress symptoms and address underlying issues which may exacerbate it. If medication is needed, nurses may seek the help of psychiatrists.
By providing a list of counseling resources to staff members, nurse leaders can play a significant role in the facilitation of stress management. In addition, they can connect nurses who experience high levels of stress to in-hospital resources or employee assistance programs.
Among the mental health disorders and behaviors related to stress are:
- Eating disorders
- Mental disorders (anxiety and depression)
- Social anxiety
- Anger Issues
The whole purpose of nursing is to be selfless. They prioritize patient care and their jobs above all else. Consequently, this concern manifests itself in their own lives as stress. As a result, burnout occurs, disrupting their work-life balance. Factors contributing to this chaos are undue stress, poor sleep, long work hours, and so on. In order to provide the best care to patients, nurses across all environments need stress management techniques that they can use to cope with and recover from stress. Using stress management techniques can enable nurses to choose a meaningful purpose for their work while improving their job satisfaction and overall happiness.