Top 12 stress-relieving tips for staff nurse during Covid-19

Stress relieving tips

Stress relieving tips - why do staff nurses need it the most?

If you are a nurse and have recently been browsing on topics like “stress-relieving tips”, “how to deal with stress”, “how to reduce anxiety”, “how to reduce stress”, “how to manage stress”, “how to relax your mind”, then this blog is for you.

As nurses, we know you have the habit of placing the needs of your patients ahead of your own. We even know that you are tough, able to cope in all situations, always resilient, caring, loyal to our patients, and much dedicated. But what remains a mystery is how you managed the Covid-19 emergencies. With families to balance and your mental health to take care of, we can only imagine how challenging your responsibilities were and are going to be.

Recent stats as per a UK study reveal that nurses currently are experiencing greater levels of depression and fatigue, resulting in a big 28 percent of them quit within the three years, which is a whopping 50 percent increase since the year 2013.

It’s true that nurses in 2020-2021 have been working through exhaustion, carrying a high level of risk of being exposed to the deadly virus. Making things worse is when they fail to find that extra nurse to cover their shift or do not have enough experienced staff rostered for the day. 

If you are a nurse who is meddling with these challenges and responsibilities, then this blog is for you. We have curated the top 12 stress reduction tips by which you can handle stress, anger, and depressed feelings.

Signs and symptoms of stress

From a statistical analysis of registered nurses between 2013 – 2016, the American Nurses Association Health Risk Appraisal indicates the following figure.

Stress relieving

The longer the stress is left to build up, the more serious the symptoms could be. Hence, early intervention is crucial to prevent detrimental effects on wellbeing.

Below are some of the signs and symptoms of stress.

stress-relieving tip

Top 12 stress-relieving stress for you

Practice saying “No”

For professionals like you, it’s often your nature to jump into the situation when requested to help. However, if you already have a tight schedule, your first choice should be “keep yourself sane and healthy”. If not, then how can you care for your patients?

Hence, before jumping into offering helping hands, consider if you really have time and consideration to pull off your day. And if you think you can’t, convey it FIRMLY, but POLITELY.

Try compartmentalization

A 2014 release in ScienceDaily affirms that nurses who most often volunteered to help others encountered more job stress than others who defined it as their career. A high level of empathy can result in increased stress levels. 

With the habit to compartmentalize, you can easily leave your professional matters at work when your shift time is over.

Practice relaxation techniques

Relaxation is a skill. Everyone will have various preferences to calm themselves down. With consistent practice, you will improve your skills to control your emotions and improve your physical well-being. Here’s how to do it. 

  • PAUSE and just sit down. Hold your breath and count till 10. When you reach 10 exactly, breathe out and say within yourself “relax” in a soothing way. Note that breathing in should be through your nose, and breathing out through your mouth. Never fail to focus on your breathing pattern. Practice this deep breathing cycle until all of your symptoms of over-breathing are gone and you feel in a good mood and relaxed again.
  • Alternatively, think and count to 10 before you respond.

If you didn’t get a chance to try out either of the above things, keep calm and say, “I’m feeling overwhelmed at the moment. I’d like to take a few minutes to ease off, and then I’ll be back shortly.”

Share your worries with family and friends

To those for whom stress and anxiety are too much to handle, “speaking out” can help. Immediately when you feel your interpersonal relationship gets affected, or there is a dip in your work performance, or there is a sudden overwhelming fear or anxiety, you should confess to your family or friends or can even seek professional help.

You should know that there is more help for you out there and taking the initial step to relieve stress is crucial to your well-being. 

Find a mentor

If the above step doesn’t work, try taking the help of a mentor! When with feelings and emotions, they can be the trustworthy go-to person who can guide you. Apart from boosting your personal development, they can also assist in achieving long-term career goals.

Try and get your personal place at home

Your home could be a great place to unwind and relax. Make your home the best place to decompress by,

  • Choosing to play soothing music
  • Have plants everywhere
  • Reserve a place to ease up – an oversized armchair can help
  • So not miss out on the soft rug
  • Never miss the scented candle
  • Reserve a sanctuary just to read books
  • Enjoy your favorite shows 
  • A cup of hot chocolate
  • Accessorize rooms in your favorite colors

Stay positive

Rule out negativity and try being positive. Whenever you get time, crack a joke with your staff. Never miss out on the friendly exchanges with your patients. These could ultimately build up positive vibes around you, banishing stress.

Indulge in tasks that give you happiness, EVERY DAY!

If you fall into the stereotyped pattern of “get up → travel → check-in → travel → sleep → repeat,” then don’t you deserve a dash of something to revive happiness in your life?

Plan and reserve thirty minutes in a day to indulge in things that make you happy. Sometimes a crossword or sudoku could work magic on you. Try a relaxing bath with essential oils, pick up take-up drawing, or crafting. 

Remember “never” to compromise on things that bring joy to you!

Expand your network beyond your workplace

On average a professional spends around 40 hours at work, which means you spend most of your week’s time with your coworkers, logically making them your friends too. But becoming friends with those outside your profession can by and large help cope up with stress. 

Here is the clarity. With your coworker friends, you will ultimately end up discussing only professional matters and nothing beyond that.  It’s going to be the exact opposite if otherwise.

  • Try joining a sports team
  • Enroll in the gym 
  • Involve in volunteer work
  • Entertain being part of gatherings with people of similar interest

Become close to nature

Never shy away from the vast stretch of ocean, the quiet woods in your vicinity, or the soaring mountains nearby. Just a stroll by these is sure to rejuvenate your senses. If you can’t make this visit often, try having some natural-themed screensavers as your wallpapers.

Researchers have proven the fact that one gets an inner feeling of spirituality and healing when close with nature and it reduces feelings of stress, anger, and fear.

To nurses it can result in “nurse stress management”, resulting in,

  • Relieved muscle pain
  • Lower heart rate and blood pressure
  • A cutback in stress hormone secretion

Maintain a journal

This really works when you want to unpack all your worries and disappointment, without burdening anyone.

Here is the idea of how to go ahead with it. 

  • Purchase a journal (hard copy) to write in. Most prefer this!
  • Alternatively, you could even use an app compatible with your mobile phone, computer, or tablet. Make sure you secure it with a password.

Remember, the idea of possessing a journal is to express your true self without being perturbed about others’ reactions and responses to what is in your thoughts.

Exercise regularly

This can absolutely be a stress burner with long-term benefits. Remember during your physical activity, your endorphins are released, resulting in mood refreshment, reducing anxiety and depression. Your immune system gets boosted. Couple this with breathing exercises. 

Best of all, it can make you sleep better! Try tennis, aerobics, yoga, ballroom dancing, water polo, rock climbing, and a lot more

Conclusion

It’s understood the nature of your job is itself stressful. But we feel the choice is yours. Try flexible nursing jobs that let you work stress-free! Contact a recruiter at JP Medicals Recruitment to learn more.

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