Dealing with Stress

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Stress is a large part of what nursing is. In nursing school I struggled a lot with managing my own stress, because this was a level of stress I had not had to endure before.

Stress can come from many different aspects of the job

  1. The job itself
  2. The long hours
  3. Being in unfamiliar territory
  4. The patients or their families
  5. Co-workers
  6. Life outside of work
  7. Your own expectations of yourself

It could be one, some, all, or aspects of our lives that are not listed here that cause our stress, and it manifests differently in everyone. Personally it manifests as being grouchy, lashing out at people, and when left untended (which did happen in nursing school 😦 ) can turn in to anxiety and depression.

When I am the most stressed, I am the least equipped to deal with my anxiety and it can get the best of me, BUT on a more positive note now that I have expressed the reality of stress, there is still a lot that you can do about it! Personally when I moved, I uprooted my life to move to a new place, with no one I previously knew from a cozy little city where everything had been familiar and comfortable for so long that the transition was a difficult one.  After some time, I was not sleeping enough, I was eating junk, and I was not exercising regularly.

Initially when people were telling me to make sure I took care of myself, I kind of blew them off thinking…psh everyone says to eat right, sleep enough, and exercise, I’ll be fine it’s whatever… Later realizing that those things are KEY to keeping yourself feeling good and managing your stress.

I CAN NOT STRESS ENOUGH HOW MUCH OF A DIFFERENCE THIS MAKES!!

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Some fresh tomatoes from the garden 🙂

Once I began sleeping more than a few broken hours a night, eating more balanced meals, and taking the time to exercise (even if that means just going for a walk around your neighborhood), I felt I was able to manage my stress and start to feel like myself again and like I had control over my life (I mean to the degree we can have control over life, we can’t control every thing 😉 ). The exercises that worked best for me happened to be jogs and walks outside, because the fresh air tends to do me good, and hot yoga because I had so much anxiety, the inward reflection and focus on my breathing helped calm me down, in addition to improving strength and flexibility (something I am sure we would all like!).

What are some things you like to do for stress relief and management? Leave tips or tricks in the comments!

 

~Niki

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving all!

Thanksgiving Contest - What Are You Thankful For?

Let’s remember all of those nurses that are hard at work today!

This year, those of us that were working on our unit had set up a  potluck long in advance and will be having a wonderful feast! Dividing up all that work allowed for everyone to contribute and for there to be a lovely feast.

I am grateful and thankful for my family, friends, and to be working on such a wonderful unit where we are family! I am also grateful for the help and guidance from all of the members of my work family during this time of transition from student to working professional! Additionally I am thankful to be healthy and have plenty of food on my table this year.

Any of you out there that have any good stories, or traditions for those working or not on this festive day? Please leave them in the comments.

Happy Thanksgiving all!

~Niki

*Disclaimer,the photo was pulled from google images, I just found it to be festive and appropriate :).

Things in my Pocket

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As a brand new baby student nurse, I definitely struggled with what was necessary to have with me in my pockets on the floor. In the beginning I had WAY too much stuff in my pockets and was walking around looking like I was lumpy in all the wrong places. With time and experience I was able to narrow down what I needed to carry in my pockets.

In the beginning I had…

  1. my stethoscope (MDF)
  2. several pens (at least 3 black, 1 red)
  3. a highlighter
  4. a Sharpie
  5. scissors
  6. 2 pen lights (incase the batteries of one died)
  7. alcohol wipes
  8. a notebook, pocket-sized
  9. a granola bar incase I needed a snack while running around
  10. and 2 brains, incase I messed one up so bad I wanted to start over (HA! as if I ever had time for that)

I tend to chuckle now thinking back at the brand new nervous student nurse me, I didn’t even drink coffee at that point in time!

Now I have really narrowed down what I carry in my pockets…

  1. 1, 4-colored pen (red, black, blue and green)
  2. 1 Sharpie
  3. 1 penlight
  4. my stethoscope around my neck
  5. pocket small scissors
  6. alcohol wipes
  7. my brain…on one sheet, not 1 sheet per patient, and the brain differs depending on the unit I am on.

I also highly recommend having a cargo pocket on your pants, but I will expand on that in a future post.

Here goes nothing…

Hello All! My name is Nicole, but I also go by Niki, hence the website. I am a new graduate nurse working in San Diego, CA. The exact hospital shall remain anonymous for privacy reasons at this time. 🙂 I have completed my MSN as a second degree after changing gears from Biology. SOO many people have asked me what made me change my mind, and the answer varies slightly depending on when you ask me, but mostly it has to do with a few key points…

  1. I didn’t want to spend so much time in school to become a doctor (yes I was sort of premed)
  2. I wanted more patient interaction with the same patients during the day (this is not to say physicians and nurse practitioners and other practitioners don’t spend individualized time with their patient’s, I am simply saying that I wanted to spend my 12 hours with up to 5 patients for that shift, as opposed to practitioners  who can see over 20 patients a day).
  3. While I spent a lot of time in my labs and enjoyed that time, I definitely am NOT someone that is built to be cooped up in one area for more than short bursts of time. (I just am terrible at sitting still, which is a great thing for being a nurse!)

So that’s a little run down on me, I would love any feedback anyone has (Please be nice, but constructive is helpful), and please feel free to let me know what types of things you would like to hear about from me!

~Niki