This article comes to us from Sarah, the author at Relax Everyday.  She gives some great tips about how we can relax and take excellent care of both ourselves and our patients.

You Can Be Productive and Attentive by…. Relaxing!

stress relief for nurses

Stress can leak into our lives and rapidly affect our productivity.  Stress creates a heightened sense of panic and chaos which can affect our cognitive performance.  The American Institute of Stress states that the main cause of stress is workload, having too many demands to address in a limited amount of time.  The next most stressful factor in the workplace is issues with coworkers, management or customers.  These interactions can be stressful depending on if the other person is upset, irate, or angry.

The Occupation of Nursing

As nurses, both these factors listed by the Institute are major players in our lives.  We have high demands to address in little time, and sometimes the patients can indeed be very difficult.  Stress can cause a plethora of health issues, so consider these ideas to help you remain calm and in control at work so you can be productive.

Stress and What it Does

Stress occurs when new things happen that we weren’t prepared for or from high demands that we feel we cannot control.  It further develops when these factors are continuous, and we don’t have any time to relax or find any sort of relief.  Stress can produce physical ailments such as headaches, fatigue, lack of sleep, a spike in blood pressure, and several other symptoms.

Night Shift and Stress

Many nurses at some point in their working careers will have to take the night shift.  The night shift can be stressful.  The change in sleeping schedule as well as adjusting the rest of your lives to match the new change can cause lack of sleep (which we desperately need) as well as straining time with your spouse and children.  Some nights can be absolutely chaotic and others slow.  To help beat stress during the night shift take the time to establish a good nursing routine and review charts when the foot traffic is slower. Try breathing exercises to help stabilize your blood pressure when it is chaotic.  Take care of yourself so you can take care of others.

Sign Off on That Checklist

It’s difficult to be an effective nurse and co-worker if you are battling an upset stomach or massive headaches caused by stress.  Often stress is caused by our perception of the situation, not what actually happened or will happen.  Remember to stick to the facts and not let scenarios conjure up thoughts that can stress you out.  Try breathing exercises, take a couple of minutes to close your eyes and meditate, or ask others for assistance if things are too overwhelming.  Your productivity increases when you have both a calm mind and body to work with.

Be a Great Nurse!

Nursing can be a challenge, as can any occupation that deals with people can be.  Some shifts may be completely chaotic with an influx of patients or lack of caretakers.  Other times, it may be slow and steady.  Breathing exercises and keeping a calm mentality is crucial during times of chaos.

This will help you complete your tasks and stay on track for your shift.  During slower times, charts can be reviewed, and preparation steps can be made for the next shift, or you can catch up with some of the patients.  Stress and nursing do not bode well together.  It will affect your productivity and your health both in a negative manner.

A clear mind is attentive, sharp, and focused and enhances your decision-making skills so you can get more done during your shift. This also increases your cognitive abilities, so you can remember important steps needed for each individual patient in your care.  Breathe deeply and stay focused and kick stress out of your shift and out of your life so you can be a successful nurse.

About the Author

Sarah is the author and editor of Relax Everyday. She shares her knowledge about relaxation and meditation, in the hopes that it can help more people become healthier, calmer, and more mindful.


AuthorCourtney Tracy