Working As a Nurse is Exhausting — Here's How to Cope

how to care for yourself as a nurse

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Being a nurse is certainly one of the most stressful jobs in the world. Your decisions can impact a person for the rest of their life. Having such responsibility on your shoulders promotes a state of stress. This is why we are giving you some tips for dealing with work-related stress in the hospital and coping mechanisms to get through the day.

Once you have landed your dream overseas nurse job, it’s an endless cycle of dedication and commitment to the patients. Nurses can encounter their own health troubles, even though they are advocates for good health. In fact, when you feel physically unwell, it can hinder your work.

Not only do you have to look after your physical well-being, but you must also remember that your mental health is just as important. Being on your feet for hours on end, skipping meals, and skipping toilet breaks all contribute to fatigue and chronic conditions; but thankfully some of them can be avoided.

With the use of certain products and self-care techniques, you can get your health back on track. Your physical health can be improved and your mental health elevated. Nurses have struggled during this pandemic and are scrambling to catch up. However, one thing that remains is the importance of your health.

Prioritize Your Own Health

self care for nurses

Nurses can encounter their own health troubles, even though they are advocates for good health. In fact, when you feel physically unwell, it can hinder your work.

Nurses often have good fitness but there can be times that they are sitting frequently writing reports or standing constantly dealing with patients. This can contribute to muscle fatigue, varicose veins, and more. In this instance, you must make a change and this can easily be done by adding an element to your uniform. You should check out Uniform Advantage compression socks which can greatly improve your life. Compression socks are great to keep the blood flowing and improve general circulation which will improve your entire physical state.

Keeping fit on the go is difficult and will require healthy eating and trying to maintain a good sleep pattern. Some nurses work night shifts, and this can affect sleep patterns. In this instance, you must look at some sleeping aids to ensure that your mind can turn off when your body really wants to. Cycling to and from work is good unless your shift finishes in the darker hours. Swimming in between shifts is also a good option. Taking advantage of any work benefits such as discounts for fitness classes is also great!

Focus On Your Sleep

importance of sleep to overall health

It is advisable to adopt relaxation and relaxation methods in order to adopt a more balanced lifestyle — so after a long day with patients, you can learn to worry about yourself and yourself only. If you are not in good health or exhausted, then you can’t give the best of yourself to your patients.

You can, for example, practice guided imagery, and whenever you feel the tension rising, think positively about things that make you happy or relaxed. Breathing is also research-proven as helping to reduce stress when there are deep breathing techniques that allow to regulate breathing and allow the body to let go of stress. It is worthwhile to engage in exercise that releases endorphins that elevate the mood and cause a pleasant and better feeling over time. Find the physical fitness that suits you best, so that you can persevere in the occupation for a long time — swimming, running, brisk walking, cycling, aerobics, yoga, and the like.

Sleep is an important process for health and general well-being and in order to allow for better sleep, it is important to prepare for sleep in a repetitive sleep ceremony in order to also regulate the biological clock and allow entry into bed in complete relaxation. It is best to avoid stimulant drinks that contain caffeine at least about 5-6 hours before bedtime and finish the food about two to three hours before bedtime but if you drink coffee during your shift, try and make the move from caffeine to water instead so that you can detox your body and be able to turn off when you finally get into bed.

Don’t Skip Out on Meals

staying healthy as a nurse

Ensure that you are not neglecting your diet.

As a nurse or doctor, you know the importance of healthy eating and what diet can do to your body if you don’t eat well. Obesity, high blood pressure, and more are deadly to many people and therefore you must consider following a healthy path and not doing what is easy.

When you eat well, you can bring healthy snacks to the staff room and your other medical staff friends can be inspired by you. It is very common to eat when you are stressed and as a result, gain weight and become more nervous and so on but this will hinder your work, especially if you are a nurse that works in a busy ward or part of a quick-paced team, such as the emergency department.

Therefore, it is advisable to adopt healthier habits of a balanced diet. Food has a significant impact on the way we deal with stress on a daily basis and also for better sleep. You should avoid or reduce as much as possible processed foods, sugars with preservatives and multiply in natural, fresh foods, dietary fiber, fruits, and vegetables. Herbal infusions as a substitute for coffee and alcohol.

Take Care of Your Emotional Wellbeing

self care for nurses

Stress at work is incredibly difficult to cope with, especially in the busy medical fields. It can linger for weeks and your mood can decline. This is because dealing with patients face to face and dealing with possible loss is something that doesn’t just disappear. So here is how to deal with work stress when working in the hospital. Talk to someone you trust and someone who will listen. This allows you to take the pressure off and get advice from someone else. Sometimes you may feel like you are facing dozens of issues on your own, but talking to a friend will give you their opinion and you can express your feelings. You can confide in several types of people:

Friend at Work

One of the benefits of talking to a colleague is that they understand what you’re going through. They may even have been in the exact same situation which is why it’s vital to reach out.

Family Member or Friend Outside of Work

If talking with a co-worker makes you uncomfortable, a close friend or family member can be a good confidant. He will certainly not have experience as a doctor or nurse, but not evolving in your workplace, you can let yourself go without risking that it happens to the ear of one of your colleagues.

Counselor or Therapist

In many hospitals counselors and therapists are willing to listen to staff. If you’ve recently lost a patient or been through tough months, talking to a therapist is a great option. And the most important thing is that everything remains confidential.

Make Deep Breathing Exercises Part of Your Daily Routine

breathing exercises for stress

Deep breathing exercises are often recommended for people suffering from stress. Performing controlled deep breathing exercises cleanses the lungs and relaxes the diaphragm. Try to breathe in slowly and deeply; when you can no longer take in air, stop breathing for a few seconds, then breathe out slowly.

Cut Yourself Some Slack

coping techniques nurses

Don’t sell yourself short and don’t be hard on yourself. The medical industry has faced a lot of difficulties lately. Some hospitals had increased patients due to Covid and many hospitals also had a backlog of work that fell into the hands of nurses. Therefore, the workload is increasing and it is OK to feel wiped out. However, it is not OK to ignore it. We know the physical ways to improve your lifestyle; wearing good compression socks, exercising when you can, adopting little techniques to improve your sleep, but it is also important to look towards the future.

The positives are on their way. The pandemic is easing, normality is returning. The end is upon us, therefore the time is now to start realizing just how valuable you (and most likely your entire team) have been. It is time to give yourself a pat on the back and appreciate that you have contributed to assisting with a crisis. No work goes unnoticed for patients or the public. If you feel you need extra support, reach out to people who can help. Your health is important and your physical well-being is too.

The facts speak for themselves. According to a Reuters report, the International Nurses’ Council claims that the provision of protective equipment to nurses and other staff members who work in nursing homes is insufficient. The council delivered the remarks today — World Mental Health Day. This survey data is based on responses from about a quarter of national nursing associations in more than 130 countries. Nurses face a wide range of factors that affect their mental health, including verbal and physical injuries. Therefore it is vital to take control of your health now.

Don’t have your degree yet? You can learn more about getting a nursing degree at schools like Purdue Global University in Academia Labs’ article.


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