Five Ways To Reduce Stress While Working As A Nurse

Five Ways To Reduce Stress While Working As A Nurse

Dealing with stress is an uphill task if you are a practicing nurse. Working long hours day and night, helping patients and doctors, and other healthcare professionals, no wonder why the profession of nursing is a stressful one. The job requires one to be both mentally and physically stable. Nurses have to carry the burden of providing care to sick patients and those nearing death. Such a thing is mentally taxing and can put even the best of nurses through stress or depression. If you do not look after yourself during such a time, it will build up inside you, and you might suffer from fatigue or burnout.

It will be disastrous for your career as a nurse and will leave you losing interest in your job. Thankfully, there are a few tips and tricks that can help you avoid mentally draining yourself and losing your passion for the field. Follow them if you want to remain stress-free and happy with what you love to do. They are listed as follows:

  • Do Breathing Exercises

According to many doctors, daily breathing exercises can do wonders for people who want to manage their stress. You only have to find a calm and quiet place, such as the break room, where you can do these exercises without any disturbances.

Gently let the air in by taking slow, deep breaths and then exhale. There is no need to go crazy and push yourself. Just do it slowly as you only want to stretch your lungs.

Nowadays, nurses working in the critical care nursing department should regularly perform breathing exercises, as they have to deal with pressure and work-induced stress. The slower you breathe in and breathe out, the calmer you will feel. You will be able to feel all the stress and anxiety leave your body with every breath you take.

  • Take Part In Physical Exercise

Working in the nursing department of a clinic or hospital can lead to muscular stress as well. Performing duties such as picking up and turning patients on their beds can cause severe physical exertion over time that is easy to overlook. When you experience such physical issues from work, it will lead to a lot of time off work. But, you can always remedy this by doing physical exercises that relieve you of such pain.

If you can take out some time from your busy routine, go to your local gym. If not, you can start simply by following a home-based workout routine. If you have a busy schedule at work, try staying on your feet. Keeping yourself mobile will keep your joints and muscles from cramping.

  • Give Aromatherapy A Try

Aromatherapy includes techniques such as bathing in bath salts, massage with therapeutic oils, or candles. These scents and oils come in a wide range of offerings, with each one having different healing properties. Oils such as rose, lavender, tea-tree, and chamomile have many soothing effects on the human body and help tackle stress.

You can also take these oils or candles along with you to work. Pack a small bag with your favorite therapeutic scents and keep them in the pocket of your scrubs. However, if you plan on using such therapeutic scents at your workplace, ensure that your co-workers or employers are ok with it. Some people experience allergies when exposed to aromas. Otherwise, these are a good way to give your nasal airways a break from the stench in a hospital.

  • Get Some Shut-eye

Whether you work twelve-hour shifts or push through night duty, it is likely that you aren’t getting enough sleep. With a job as exhausting as being a nurse, you will need at least eight hours of shut-eye to recharge your body. According to research, sleep deprivation results in a lower-performing immune system, which increases the risk of physical and mental diseases. Imagine having to work in infectious care with a weak immune system! Dangerous, we say!

Getting the right amount of shut-eye will allow you to feel energized, refreshed, and stress-free. Try taking out some time from your busy schedule to get some sleep. If your work calls at the hospital, get a pair of dark eyeshades to get some sleep during the morning or afternoon. You can also take a small dose of melatonin to correct your sleeping cycle. Try power naps.

  • Spend Some Time With Your Friends

Whether your fellow cow-workers are your friends or not, taking out some time to meet up with the ones you love will put a bright smile on your face. Various studies show that if you spend a lot of time with your friends or family, you are at a lower risk of experiencing stress, depression, and high blood pressure.

So,  incorporate some family time in your daily schedule for the ones you feel happy meeting. Even a quick lunch break with your best friend who listens to all your ramblings will do the trick.


Nursing burnout and stress can happen to anyone working in this sub-field of healthcare. Try your best to know what triggers such stress and anxiety in you and remedy it as soon as possible. You will not perform well at your workplace if you do not have a clear head on your shoulders. After all, returning to your workplace with a stress-free mind will not only benefit you in countless ways but will also be better for your patients and colleagues.

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