When The RN Needs To Relax: Solutions To Help Nurses Manage Stress

Nursing is an incredibly stressful job, but there are many ways to help nurses manage stress. Here's how to find more calm when you're a nurse

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May 20, 2019
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Are you a nurse? Do you frequently find yourself getting stressed out? First of all, you’re not crazy; many nurses find themselves feeling stressed out at some point during their career.

But there’s no need for you to suffer stress while working hard to help others feel their best! Here are some tried and true strategies for nurses to relieve stress, unwind, and stay relaxed.

10 Stress Relieving Techniques Anyone Can Do

The following are some activities for you to try to prevent that stress from getting overwhelming. These activities relax the body and brain, and will help you feel better.

There are many different relaxing hobbies to choose from. Here are a few of the ones that are best for combatting stress. Of course, the goal of trying these hobbies is not to become more talented; remember, the code word here is “pressure free.”

  1. Drawing: Drawing has long been considered a therapeutic activity, and for good reason. Drawing relaxes the brain, and allows you to clear your head. It can bring you into a near meditative state.
  2. Shopping with friends: Whether it’s for sports goods, scrub pants, or weekend clothes, when not on a very limited budget, shopping is a great way to reduce stress, and especially if you’re doing it with others!
  3. Journaling: Journaling allows you to express your feelings and clear your head, in a similar way that art does. It has been proven to be a great stress reliever, and also improves cognitive functioning. Write down what’s stressing you; it’ll help you clear your head.
  4. Play an Instrument: According to WebMD, playing a musical instrument improves mental health, relieves stress, and offers many other benefits as well. It makes no difference whether you’re a world-class musician or you can just barely pick out a tune on a piano; playing offers these benefits to anyone who enjoys music. When you have those few extra minutes between shifts, although you most probably won’t be able to play, you can listen to calming music, which also has a calming effect.
  5. Sewing: Many people find knitting and crocheting to be quite therapeutic. The repetitive movements allow the mind to unclench and relax, and the tangible results of their work give the knitter feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction.
  6.  Watch a Funny Movie: Laughing automatically eliminates stress. It’s nearly impossible to be stressed out when something funny is happening! Actually, even just stretching your lips into a smile can relieve stress! We call it fake it til you make it, but it’s been proven to work.
  7. Exercise: Exercise has too many benefits to list! What I will tell you is that it is a definite reliever of stress, is a natural antidepressant, and is known to improve one’s health overall. Hiking and swimming are two of the most popular relaxing exercises to try.
  8. Spend Time Outdoors: Spending time in the sunshine has wonderful effects on mental health. Even just five minutes spent outside can lower stress levels!
  9. Spend Time with Your Loved Ones: Enjoying the company of friends and family will help you feel less stressed.
  10. Yoga: It’s well-known that yoga is an effective way of reducing stress. Doing yoga with meditation relaxes your muscles naturally and releases tension in your body and mind. Here are a few recommended Yoga poses for overcoming stress.
  • Prasarita Padottanasana: The Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend releases pressure in the head, and relieves stress in the area of the neck and shoulders.
  • Sasangasana: Also known as the Rabbit Pose, this is another pose that will help you feel calm.
  • Halasana: The Plow Pose relaxes the neck, head, shoulders, and hamstrings.
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Don’t forget that in order for these hobbies to help you destress, they have to be activities you find enjoyable, and they must be done not for the purpose of perfecting your skill, but in a relaxed way, for the sake of enjoying yourself.

Conclusion

All the above strategies will help you overcome the natural stressors of life, both in the hospital and at home. Put these into practice, and you’ll not only be a less stressed RN; you’ll be a happier person, too!