Experts believe that the first step to beating stress is identifying its cause. And you can’t do that without being clear headed and energized first; hence these dozen tips on how to prep both body and mind for calm and serenity.
- #1: Learn how to take control. Grow a more positive outlook and regain a sense of control by accepting the things you can’t change, focusing instead on what you can.
- #2: Try this exercise borrowed from The Anywhere, Anytime Chill Guide: (1) Keeping both feet on the floor, stack your forearms on the edge of the table. (2) Scoot back in your chair so your spine is extended. (3) Rest your forehead on your arms for a minute or two. It can be done on the nursing job!
- #3: Learn how to perform self hypnosis: Imagine a split screen with a chaotic scene on one side, and the solution on the other; this kind of intense absorption for five minutes, 2 or 3 times a day, is a brilliant anti-stress technique.
- #4: Be mindful of allergens: Stress may rise with the pollen count, so experts advocate seeing an allergist if your mood dips with the onset of symptoms; the doctor may be able to prescribe a medication that also lifts your spirits.
- #5: Reset your circadian rhythms: To be happy, your brain needs to be on a schedule, realizing the difference between day and night; that can be tough for some in healthcare careers. But do try this: expose your retina to sunlight by taking a walk outside (for 20 minutes, 3 times a week) without your sunglasses.
- #6: Spend time doing things that you really enjoy; experts suggest earmarking two days a week where overtime on a travel nursing job is not allowed, just fun stuff once work ends.
- #7: Build a support system: A problem shared is a problem halved. A good support network of nursing colleagues, friends and family can help you see things in a different and more positive light.
- #8: Resist Avoidance Therapy: This is an oxymoron; every healthcare professional knows no good ever came of attempting to overcome personal problems with drugs and alcohol. Reach out to a friend instead.
- #9: Set new goals and challenges. It helps build confidence; that in turn helps you deal with stress. So set your sites on a new therapy career or nursing specialty, or mastering a new skill that increases your sense of self-worth.
- #10: Don’t Stop Learning: Continuing education and a strong grip on what’s current in healthcare careers make you less likely to procrastinate—a stress trigger.
- #11: Become a Volunteer: Helping people who are often in situations worse than yours will help you put your problems into perspective.
- #12: Do someone a favor every day. Bring your patients a card or single flower in a vase, give up your turn on the hospital elevator if a family needs it more; these are just a couple of examples of free things you can do to feel good about yourself and the world.
Nursing and Therapy Careers Zap Stress by Helping You Work Smarter, Not Harder
Healthcare professionals work hard, but they also work smart in high-paying recession proof careers that keep stress at bay. These 12 tips are just a review of what they might have forgotten in the busyness of healthy careers. Hope the advice helps. Live well, friends!
Footnote: The mental health tips for beating stress that appeared in this article were derived from Allure Magazine’s 16 Ways to Destress. Interested healthcare professionals should click the link for a complete list and slide show. The “Anywhere, Anytime Chill Guide Exercise” is depicted on page 6.