Stress is one of the biggest issues for nurses. When you're working long hours, helping patients and supporting other staff everyday, it's no wonder you get stressed. The Royal College of Nursing says it's important to help nurses deal with stress because it can negatively impact the patient and cause distress for the employee. Suffering from long-term stress can influence your morale, attendance and effort at work. Here are some stress reduction techniques for nurses that you can start using today, to help reduce stress.
1. Breathing exercises
Breathing techniques are regularly recommended for people suffering from stress, panic and anxiety. What's great is you can do these exercises almost anywhere, at work and at home.
Find somewhere quiet, like a break room, sit on a comfortable chair (you can also sit on a bed or a yoga mat) and relax. Breathe deeply, this should be a gentle motion, expanding your lungs and stretching your diaphragm. There's no need to push yourself, it's a simple stretching and breathing exercise.
To take it further, try to, very slowly, breathe outwards for twice as long as you breathe inwards.
2. Focus on the positives
It's so easy for you to feel down about the negatives, especially when you're stressed. But you can easily turn that around by focusing on the positive things in your life. It may sound like a silly technique but it's very beneficial.
Writing down a list of positives (for example: reaching milestones, getting a promotion, good news in your family life, etc) can help you focus on the positive aspects that's happening in your life and not dwell on the stressful negatives.
3. Have a stress buddy
When working in a stressful occupation, it's beneficial to have a friend who you can confide in when you get stressed. This helps you get the stress off your shoulders and be able to talk through problems.
Having a trusted friend at work helps you discuss similar problems while having a friend away from work means you can complain without the risk of being overheard.
4. Organise your life outside of the hospital
One of the common reasons you can feel stressed is because you feel your life revolves around the hospital. Organising other activities away from work helps you get involved in other things. Sightseeing around the country, visiting friends or taking up a new hobby, gives you the chance to focus on something else and reduce work stress.
5. Physical exercise
Stress doesn't have to be just internal, it can be physical too. Nursing can cause a lot of muscular-skeletal issues. Picking up and turning patients causes harmful stress on your spine and other limbs. When you're suffering chronic pain conditions it can result in you taking lots of time off work. However, you can avoid that option by doing these physical techniques to reduce physical stress and pain.
If you have time to go to the gym, that's an excellent place to blow off some steam and get a full workout. However, if you don't, then try to fit in 30 minutes of exercise everyday. Walking around the block, running around the park, doing stretches benefits circulation. Exercise releases endorphins which helps to reduce stress.
6. Relax - Take a break
While you may be tempted to keep on working through the stress, this can be incredibly harmful. It can also cause you to have a negative attitude about the job you've always wanted. There's nothing wrong with having some TLC and taking a break. Taking a weekend holiday somewhere new will help you relax and have a well-deserved break away from the hospital.
7. Wear supportive work shoes
You might not realise it but having sore feet is a major contributor of stress. It's hard to concentrate when your heels ache when you walk or causes your back to hurt. These are the main reasons your feet and legs hurt after a shift.
It's important to wear work shoes that are designed for the demands of your job. Healthcare shoes have supportive features to help support you when you're working. At SFCE, our range of shoes are equipped with excellent slip-resistant grip to give you incredible grip on slippery floors.
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