With the first quarter of 2023 drawing to a close, it’s important to find some time for yourself to help recharge and reflect on the year thus far. Taking a break from working life in the healthcare setting is necessary for your wellbeing. Whether that is going outdoors to enjoy the sunshine, catching up with friends & family, or even cozying up for a night indoors watching movies.
However, the business of life is sure to bring a lot of long hours at the facility, and finding these quiet moments of reprieve can often be difficult. More often than not, many people are overcome with stress and anxiety from the workplace. As a nurse, long shifts are bound to happen, overtime hours are inevitable, and the weight of the job can be overwhelming on the mental state.
In this article, we will be going through some tips to assist in dealing with stress as a nurse, and showing you ways to care for yourself, both physically and mentally.
Exercise & Recreational Activity
It’s no secret that regular physical activity has many health benefits. In terms of physical health, it is important in keeping your body fit and decreases chances of long-term and serious illnesses. The need for exercise is also very good for your mental health. Not only can it increase self-confidence, but it can lower symptoms of anxiety and depression. Partaking in a new sport outside of work, or even taking a nice 20 minute walk before your next shift can be very helpful in clearing your mind and relaxing your body, alleviating you from any unnecessary stresses or anxiety.
Eat Nutritious Meals
Everyone loves food, and for good reason too. A good diet is essential in providing you with energy, acting as fuel for the body to cope, especially in stressful situations. Ensuring you eat foods from all the necessary food groups will strengthen your immune system and make sure your body is performing at its best. A study by Alina Health found foods rich in vitamins were beneficial in lowering blood pressure, releasing necessary chemicals (such as serotonin) into the body, and providing all the proper nutrients to your body. This will help to reduce anxiety & thoughts of depression.
Meditation & Mindfulness
Meditation & Mindfulness is really good for clearing the mind and relaxing – an exercise that should be practiced once a day. Taking time out of your busy work day can refocus your mind & find a state of peace which is really good for your overall wellbeing – both physically & mentally. When things get overwhelming, try to find a quiet space and take a few deep breaths. Focussed breathing exercises will keep you grounded and clear your mind to stop any moments of stress from breaking through. It is always possible to squeeze in these moments of peace during your busy life – perhaps when you’re on a walk, on your train ride into work, or even just as you wake up.
Create a Good Sleep Schedule
Your body and mind needs rest, and the only way to recharge is by sleeping. A deficiency of sleep can lead to many health problems ranging from depression, diabetes, heart disease and other chronic health illnesses. According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the average adult should be scoring 7 hours of sleep a night to decrease chances of developing chronic illnesses. In terms of reducing stress, a regular sleeping pattern can clear your mind, which can stop you from having spiraling thoughts in certain situations. However, we understand if longer hours at your workplace are unavoidable, so try to take a few minutes to yourself and have a quick power nap to boost your mood and refresh your body.
Have a Proactive Social Life
There are many instances where people take their work life too seriously which can lead to a neglect of a social life. A lack of friends and a safe support system can make individuals feel isolated, which can lead to depressive thoughts of whether or not you feel good enough. So it is important to create social connections – whether it’s taking the bus home with a work colleague or catching up for a quick coffee. Through your social life, you will forget about work stresses and create a support system that will help you get through life’s toughest challenges.
Partake in a New Hobby
Taking time out and discovering a new hobby is a great way to wind down after a long working day. Hobbies are excellent for igniting passion, and can stop you from thinking of your busy work life. They are great in boosting your levels of serotonin, and can make you feel more relaxed and euphoric. There are a wide range of hobbies out there ranging from arts & crafts, to physical fitness, to learning a new musical instrument. You may even find starting a new hobby will provide you with more friends and connect you with people who share common interests, which is advantageous in reducing stress.
Always Seek Out Help
Of course there are moments in life where it can feel overwhelming to ask for help – something that many people may feel embarrassed by. Your family and friends are people close to you that will provide support and comfort. However, if these groups of people are not accessible, there are a plethora of people that are trained to help in situations like this. Many counselors and therapists are there to provide support when you may have excessively worrisome thoughts. Often, they can identify the source of your stresses and provide you with tools and tips to assist in such situations.
Disclaimer: The information and advice provided in this article is general in nature. For information specific to places you’ll be swimming, please visit relevant government and council websites.
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