We understand that while being a nurse is a rewarding career, it can also be incredibly stressful. According to a 2013 report from the Department of Professional Employees, about one-third of nurses surveyed reported an emotional exhaustion score that qualified them as “high burnout.” Not to mention, stress takes on different shapes such as tense shoulders, locked jaw, continuous thoughts, nail-biting, and sometimes it can be an overwhelming sensation that becomes hard to manage. Even more so, whatever form that stress takes is not pleasant and can lead to depression, fatigue, and resistance that can impact one’s health, work, and lifestyle. So how can we deal with these stressful moments? We created a list of five ways to calm down and clear your mind to prevent burnout and overwhelming pressure.
Experts found that boosting your endorphins with a quick exercise is a great stress reliever. You can find some time between shifts to run, bike, swim, find an activity online, or join a class to shed your worries and find some time for yourself. If you find yourself too busy during the workday, we created a list of exercises you can do during your shift.
Breathing exercises and mindfulness are great tricks to ease your thoughts and center yourself. According to the Mayo Clinic, meditation can help carry you more calmly through your day and may help you manage symptoms of certain medical conditions. It is known to slow your heart rate and decrease your blood pressure.
It may be hard to get your brain to stop running, so get yourself in the right headspace by playing some soft music and finding a comfortable space.
Find a Hobby
Another great outlet to decrease stress is finding an activity that you can focus on and keep your mind busy. By using tactile stimulation, you aim your attention on your senses rather than what’s in your mind. And a hobby can come with a sense of accomplishment when finished. Hobbies can range from cooking to learning a fun TikTok dance. No pastime is too small.
Aromatherapy is relatively new in popularity and derives from plant extracts. It appears in various products like candles, essential oils, bath products. You can incorporate aromatherapy into your daily activities, such as your bath or shower, meditation, watching a movie, or cooking. Experts believe aromatherapy activates the receptors in your nose, which send messages to your brain. This therapeutic tool may trigger your limbic system, the part of your brain involved with your emotional and behavioral responses. It can also affect your hypothalamus by creating the impression of serotonin.
Talk to someone
Keeping your anxiety locked away may seem more manageable, but those stressors don’t go away when your shift is over. It may keep you lying awake at night when you are trying to sleep or bombard you on your day off. In other words, it’s best to let someone close to you know what you are going through. Just talking it out can be a great way to identify those issues and combat them.
Ultimately, if your anxiety becomes too constant and overwhelming, it’s best to seek advice from a professional. It’s okay to admit that you need guidance, especially when those stressors are affecting your mental health. There are plenty of resources at your disposal curated just for nurses.
Ready to start your travel nursing journey? Head to Stability Healthcare to see all available jobs and get an interview set up today.