All workplaces have their stress factors, and healthcare is no exception. Long hours, difficult work and understaffing can all lead to healthcare workers feeling stressed and anxious. Stressed out nurses and nursing assistants are likely to find that the stress impacts their work, making them less motivated, less focused on their tasks and more prone to mistakes.
Hospitals and nursing facilities can and should take stress into account in the way they manage their staff. But you can also reduce stress yourself by using some of these simple techniques:
Exercise Reduces Stress
You’re probably wondering how you are going to fit exercise into your busy and active schedule, but luckily you can reduce stress with simple exercises you can do at home. Consider putting on a yoga video and doing a quick routine when you have 15 minutes to spare. Yoga has been shown to improve cardio and circulatory health, manage weight and boost energy levels.
Find a Hobby
Many veteran nurses will tell you that they engage in hobbies on their days off to help them stay centered and stress-free. Despite the temptation to sit on the couch and watch TV, consider doing something more stimulating, such as gardening, sports, arts and crafts or volunteering. Find a hobby that energies you and fits well into your schedule.
Get Eight Hours of Sleep
Night shifts and going from day to night can wreak havoc with your sleep schedule. But when you don’t sleep enough, you are prone to feeling stressed and your immune system is weakened, so you are more likely to get sick. Make sure you’re getting eight hours of sleep each day. If you are sleeping during the day, darken the room and create a quiet environment so you can sleep properly. If necessary, consider using Melatonin to get yourself back on schedule.
Feed Your Body Well
Processed foods and lots of refined sugar negatively impact your energy levels and mood. It’s best to eat healthy food and snacks, and take the time to eat real meals whenever possible. In order to avoid munching on donuts or subsisting on coffee, bring boosts of energy with you to work: bananas, unbuttered popcorn, unsalted almonds and dark chocolate.
Meditation comes in many forms, but all of them are fairly simple and don’t take up too much time. Meditation helps you manage stress and boosts your mood. Find a quiet place when you have a few minutes at work or at home, close your eyes and clear your mind. You’ll be able to go back to what you were doing with more energy and a smile on your face.
How do you manage stress at work? Let us know in the comments.