8 tips for nurses to stop feeling overwhelmed at work

feeling overwhelmed at work

Nurse feeling overwhelmed at work has become a usual scenario in the recent times. The data that we encountered is really shocking.

In 2019, 44% of registered nurses and midwives claimed they were down unwell as a result of stress, up from 43.5 percent in 2018 and 41.1 percent in 2015. Nearly three-fifths (59%) of those polled in 2019 affirmed that they had gone to work despite not feeling well in the previous three months.

Nursing shortage and burnout

The growing nursing shortage in the United Kingdom has a severe impact on nursing practitioners all around the country. With the shooting stress levels, the nurse shortage will continue to exist, which may put the whole NHS in a sorry state. 

While NHS should devise measures to reverse this sorry state of nurses’ anxiety, we at JP Medical Recruitment have picked out some tips for managing nurse stress so you can pick resilience, stay calm, and prevent burnout. Happy reading.

What is stress in nursing?

Physical labor, pain, and emotional demands of patients and families, job hours, shiftwork, interpersonal connections (e.g., inter-and interprofessional conflict), and other pressures are all factors that contribute to stress in nursing.

Nursing poses enormous mental and physical challenges even in typical circumstances. Nurses work long hours and undertake physically demanding jobs while keeping a high degree of alertness when making life-or-death decisions and executing chores. Surrounded by illness and death, nurses provide care not only for patients but also for their relatives, bringing comfort to people who are often fearful, angry, or grieving.

The effects of stress on nurses can be severe. Individual nurses’ capacity to complete tasks can be significantly impacted by stress, and poor decision-making, lack of attention, apathy, low motivation, and anxiety can all impede work performance, resulting in unusual errors.

8 ways to combat feeling overwhelmed at work

If you suffer from anxiety, you’ll understand how frightening and panicky your thoughts and feelings can be. You may feel humiliated and guilty, and may even droop down to feel that you are a “poor” nurse. It can’t the case anymore. What it simply means is that you’ll need to deal with stress as a nurse and avoid vulnerable feelings to move forward with your chin up. Here are eight ways how you can easily do it.

1. Get adequate sleep

Most of us understand the importance of sleep, but for healthcare workers like you, attempting to avoid burnout, cannot be overstated. Even if nurses’ sleeping schedules must be drastically altered, our contributors recommend that they get at least eight hours of sleep each day or night, depending on their schedule. A sufficient amount of sleep can help with alertness, concentration, stamina, mood, and motivation.

2. Prepare ahead

If you don’t prepare for a task and rush through it, you’ll be more confused. After completing your assignment, you may conclude that your task was not accomplished properly.

The task’s ambiguity can make you feel more stressed and overwhelmed. As a result, you must erase your doubts and do your assignment with complete assurance.

You may not recall all of the procedures step-by-step after completing your nursing degree. So go through your notes again, read some books, and get ready for the task. The more you prepare, the more confident you become in yourself.

3. Make self-care a top concern

As nurses, you have a natural tendency to prioritise the needs of others. Self-care is crucial for you, especially for those who struggle to continually care for others. Every day, you should schedule at least one self-care activity that makes you joyful, such as enjoying a hot cup of tea or relaxing in a bubble bath.

4. Draw a line between work and personal life

As a nurse, finding a work-life balance and prioritising relationships can be difficult.

When your shift ends, leave any job-related thoughts, feelings, or complaints at work, and make it a point to spend your time at home with family, friends, and doing activities that you enjoy. Be aware of yourself and your surroundings.

5. Recognize the warning signs and act accordingly

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Pressure affects every one of us in different ways. The most essential thing is to recognise your indicators of ‘being on the verge’ and take action as soon as possible. This is not the time to criticise or judge oneself. Instead, you should use well-practiced ’emergency’ coping methods to calm down, readjust, and figure out what to do next.

Taking a few slow deep breaths, saying a relaxing mantra, counting to ten a few times, or even taking a short break are examples of such tactics. If none of these options are available, inform whoever you’re with that you need a moment to collect your thoughts. If none of the preceding methods work for you, consider what may. Remember that you must practise tactics when you are calmer in order for them to work in the heat of the moment.

6. Pamper your physical and mental welfare

A regular exercise regimen along with a well-balanced diet is stressed by a number of experienced nurses. 

You should therefore exercise for at least 30 minutes every day. Include walks during work breaks and a designated training time after shifts. This physical break will make your body feel renewed and will provide your mind with a mental respite from the work at hand.

7. Find a buddy whom you could trust

Have you ever observed that when a group of individuals gets together, strange things happen? Sure, working alone gives you control over your schedule and results in accountability. Additionally, finding a support system is always a smart idea. See if you can start a support group with other nurses who are interested in good coping, resilience tactics, or work-life balance. When I have a spouse who eats well and exercises consistently, I am far more likely to stay on track. Find like-minded coworkers and spread the stress-reduction message around the office!

8. Say no to extra shifts

Nursing stress and burnout during covid have intensified. When someone asks for help, nurses are often ready to help. Working longer hours and agreeing to take on more shifts than necessary, on the other hand, might lead to burnout and potentially jeopardise the safety of patients.

Saying no to excessive work, on the other hand, means saying yes to more meaningful things in life. This could be spending more time with family, going on nature treks, or taking up a new activity. We also become more productive as nurses when we establish a better work-life balance.

Conclusion - Importance of Stress Management for Nurses

It is critical for nurses to recognise the value of self-care. It might be tough for individuals who have committed their lives to help others to embrace a basic truth: their lives and health are just as valuable as their patients’. In fact, because their capacity to perform their jobs is reliant on their health, they owe it to themselves to safeguard their own well-being. 

We recommend you follow all the above-mentioned tips that can help alleviate your stress levels to a great extent. There are a lot of online and in-person resources that can help you prevent or recover from burnout too. On top of everything, you need to be working with a perfect NHS recruitment agency that will itself help reduce worker burnout, stress, depression, and suicide. At JP Medicals we care for you, which is why we handpick jobs that offer you exciting benefits with complete peace of mind.

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