According to the American Hollistic Nurses Association, nurses experience stress at higher rates than other groups. The main culprits that cause this stress are work overloads, time pressure, sleep deprivation, dealing with very ill patients, and lack of support (mainly from management), among other sources. Here are a few tips to help prepare you for the road ahead.
Work Hard, Have Fun Too!
The key to life is balance. In nursing, this doesn’t change. Nurses often feel swamped with long hard hours so it’s especially important for them to get some leisure time in for themselves. Do you live to work or work to live? Treat yourself. Take time off. Plan vacations. It’s crucial that you recharge your batteries to maintain a healthy balance of work and play.
Work It Out
It may sound like more work, but exercise is truly a great habit to incorporate into your busy life. Exercise releases those “feel good hormones” called endorphins. It doesn’t have to be as intense as going to the gym. Simply taking a walk around the block a few times or going on a hike is enough to manage your stress. Physical activity of any sort is not only good for your mental health, but physical health as well. It’s no surprise that researchers have linked exercise to better moods.
Don’t be afraid to seek out help if you feel you are losing control of your situation. Holding back stress will only amplify the consequences later on. The first step can be as simple as visiting your General Practitioner or Doctor. Your doctor may prescribe medication designed to treat stress (i.e. anti-anxiety medication) or may suggest an alternative route such as aromatherapy or other holistic practice if you prefer it.
Keep these tips in mind as you work towards becoming a professional registered nurse. Registered nurses are in high demand and are predicted to grow by 26% between 2010 and 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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