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
- The job itself
- The long hours
- Being in unfamiliar territory
- The patients or their families
- Life outside of work
- 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!!
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!