DiversityNursing Blog

Stress Management Techniques For Nurses

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Sep 24, 2021 @ 10:41 AM

GettyImages-478921850It's no secret Nursing is a stressful and physically demanding career. High stress levels can affect your health and well-being. However, there are ways to manage your stress. Consider some of these techniques.

Identify and keep track of specific stressors. It is important to determine what triggers are causing stress so you can take action. 

Try keeping a journal, or note times when you don't feel your best and jot down what might be contributing to that feeling. For example, if you're running low on energy it could be from lack of proper sleep or nutritional foods in your diet. 

Take a deep breath. Practicing deep breathing exercises can be an effective way to reduce stress and anxiety. It can also improve lung function, blood pressure, and sleep. 

Some breathing techniques developed to reduce stress include:

  • 4-7-8 technique: Breathe in for four seconds with the nose, hold for seven, and breathe out for eight through the mouth.
  • Belly breathing: Place one hand on the belly and one on the chest, feeling the belly move and the chest remain still while breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth.
  • Breath focus: Use a picture or phrase to aid in relaxation, such as picturing the air as calmness.
  • Equal time: Count the breaths in equal time, such as five seconds, for inhaling and exhaling.
  • Modified lion’s breath: Breathe in through the nose, and out through a wide open mouth with a “ha” sound.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation: Tense and relax muscle groups in succession while breathing in and out.

Calm the mind. Mediation goes hand in hand with deep breathing. One of the biggest barriers to meditation is that people don’t know where to begin. Start with small goals like 2 minutes every day for a week, then increase your time slowly from there. 

Find a quiet space, get comfortable, then set your timer. Focus on your breathing or chosen mantra. A mantra is a word, phrase, or sound repeated it in your mind continuously. 

Thoughts will float in and out of your mind. Acknowledge them then let them go. The goal of meditation is to keep your focus on one thing. 

If you have trouble practicing on your own, there are many guided mediation apps and online videos to help. 

Recharge your batteries. As you know, lack of sleep is a major stress factor. To achieve better sleep, try the deep breathing and meditation exercises mentioned above, right before bed, as well as these suggestions:

  • Don't consume caffeine, alcohol, or food for at least 3 hours before bedtime.
  • Establish a consistent sleep schedule/routine.
  • Avoid electronics for at least 1 hour before bedtime.
  • Try rubbing lavender essential oils on your temples or pillowcases. 

Get your blood pumping. Almost any form of exercise or movement can increase your fitness level while decreasing your stress. The most important thing is to pick an activity that you enjoy. Exercise boosts your endorphins and helps release physical tension.

Enjoy A New Hobby. Hobbies are a great way to relieve stress because it shifts your focus on to something that makes you happy. It doesn't have to be time consuming. It could be watching a funny movie/tv series, reading a book, or knitting. 

Seek Help. If the stress is becoming too much for you to handle on you own, it's okay to seek advice or counsel from a loved one or a trusted mental health professional.

Because you are a Nurse, you often care for others without stopping to care for yourself. This ideology needs to change. It's extremely difficult to provide quality care for others when your own mental health is suffering. Be sure to take care of YOU too!

Topics: pressure, stress, stress management, nurse stress

What 30 Minutes a Day can do for Your Mind and Body

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Wed, Sep 24, 2014 @ 11:04 AM

By Felicity Dryer

guestblogFD 300x200 resized 600

We live in a high-stress world. Between having to attend to work, kids, homes and run back and forth between meetings and all of the other demands of everyday life, to say that things can get stressful is an understatement. 

If your constant on-the-go lifestyle has left you feeling run down, beat down and just plain old exhausted, then you need to stop and smell the proverbial roses for a little bit.

Taking time to enjoy something that is peaceful and that is just for you can do wonders for your health, your mental clarity and for your happiness. You don’t have to invest much time in such activities, either; reserving just 30 minutes a day to something that you enjoy and that promotes a bit of peacefulness and tranquility can do wonders.

Here’s a look at some activities that you can do for just 30 minutes a day and that will provide you with some simply amazing benefits.

Yoga: It seems like yoga is all the rage in the fitness world as of late (well, not really as of late; it’s been a trend for quite a while) – and there’s a reason why; yoga provides some pretty amazing benefits.

Just 30 minutes of yoga a day will help to increase your strength and flexibility, as well as tone your body. In addition to physical benefits, yoga can also increase your brain function. A recent study conducted by the University of Illinois found that people who participated in just 20 minutes of yoga a day experienced an increase in the speed and accuracy of their brain functions. Yoga also helps to reduce stress levels and boosts mental clarity; talk about some pretty amazing benefits for just 30 minutes of your time each day.

Meditation: Another activity that can provide fantastic benefits in just 30 minutes a day is meditation. When you think of people meditating, what comes to mind? People who are more peaceful, more astute and have more clarity? If so, there’s a good reason why – Because meditation helps to promote all of these things.

In fact, just 30 minutes of meditating a day can boost your creative thinking abilities, heighten your energy levels, decrease your stress levels and even ease the feelings of depression.

A Long Walk: If someone tells you to ‘go take a walk’, take them up on it! There are so many wonderful benefits associated with walking, and the best part is, it is so easy to do. Walking for just 30 minutes a day improves your cardiovascular health, decreases stress and anxiety, helps to keep off excess weight, tones muscles, boosts energy levels and it can even help to decrease your risk of dementia. Walking also just makes you happy. So kick off those painfulwork shoes and dust off your sneakers, and get moving. There is nothing more therapeutic than soaking up the warm sunshine and observing the beauty of nature while walking on a nice day.

Reading: Everyone knows that reading is important, but do you know why? Reading for just 30 minutes each day can increase your vocabulary, boost your creative thinking and critical thinking skills, stimulate your mind, improve your memory and focus and decrease stress levels. So, when you’re feeling like you just need to escape for a little while, curl up with a book or a magazine and submerse yourself in reading.

No matter how crazy your lifestyle is, you can spare just 30 minutes a day to enjoy the benefits that one of these activities can provide. You’ll be amazed by how much happier you will feel – you owe it to yourself!

Source: http://www.interplayhealth.com

Topics: mental health, body, mind, meditation, relax, pressure, yoga, fitness, physical health, health, benefits, lifestyle, stress

Recent Jobs

Article or Blog Submissions

If you are interested in submitting content for our Blog, please ensure it fits the criteria below:
  • Relevant information for Nurses
  • Does NOT promote a product
  • Informative about Diversity, Inclusion & Cultural Competence

Agreement to publish on our DiversityNursing.com Blog is at our sole discretion.

Thank you

Subscribe to Email our eNewsletter

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all