Open Accessibility Menu

How to Manage Stress as a Nurse

  • Category: Careers
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Baton Rouge General
How to Manage Stress as a Nurse

Stress is something we all deal with in our personal and professional lives, but when it comes to a career in nursing, that stress can sometimes be difficult to manage. Nurses work hard to provide quality care for patients all while facing a long list of responsibilities and physical and emotional demands. Chronic stress not only affects your emotional and mental health but it can also lead to physical health issues like an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Developing stress management skills is essential to maintaining a long and healthy career in nursing. Here are some tips to help you de-stress.

Recognize the Source of Your Stress

Understanding where your stress comes from as a nurse is one of the most important steps in addressing it. Short term or acute stress is common on any given workday and can include dealing with a difficult patient or feeling like there’s not enough time in the day to complete critical tasks. It’s when every workday starts to feel stressful that you may be experiencing chronic stress, which can be dangerous to your health. Once you can identify the source of your stress you can create a plan to address it. If you have trouble identifying the cause, try tracking your job responsibilities for a few days and write down how you feel after you’ve completed each task. From there you can concentrate on the areas that are really stressing you out.

Maintain a Routine

During times of stress, developing and maintaining structure and routine can help you feel more organized and in control. A routine not only helps with lowering stress levels, but it can also help you to feel more productive and focused while at work. When you add structure to your routine and stick to the times you wake up, eat, work, do activities like exercise, and go to sleep, there’s more predictability to your day and helps ensure that you can accomplish the necessary tasks. It takes approximately 21 days to form a new habit. If you set a new routine in place and stick to it for three weeks, you will slowly start to feel a reduction in stress.

Find a Support System

In times of stress, isolation only adds to stress levels and makes stress more difficult to cope with. When you have a strong social support system in your friends, family or your peers you are more resilient. Talking about stressors with someone who supports you allows you to recognize them, and while it may not necessarily lead to a solution it helps to get it out. As a nurse you face challenging events and situations that may replay in your mind as you try to sleep or on your next shift. Talk those challenges and frustrations out with someone you trust so you can identify the stressor, address it and eventually resolve it.

Prioritize You

As a nurse it is important to prioritize your personal needs. Your well-being is as vital as any of your patients and when you’re feeling your best, you can provide the highest quality of care. While practicing self-care doesn’t change the challenges and stress you face at work, it does improve your ability to deal with it. Some ways to prioritize yourself include:

• Engaging in activities you enjoy that are not nursing related

• Eating a healthy diet and exercising

• Setting healthy boundaries at work and in your personal life

• Staying connected with your loved ones

• Prioritizing a good night’s sleep

At Baton Rouge General we understand you are more than a nurse. That’s why we make sure our team of dedicated nurses achieve a balance in every stage of life with flexible shifts, great benefits, and customizable staffing options. Call or text a recruiter today at (985) 606-9061 to learn more about our current nursing opportunities.