Here are some simple actions which nurses can employ to help them relax and experience lower levels of stress.
- Focusing on the task at hand can make seemingly unmanageable situations doable. Rather than thinking about all that needs to be accomplished in a day, it is more effective to break each task down into manageable bits.
- Spend time in nature. Many studies show that exposure to natural environments reduces blood pressure, enhances feelings of connection, and relieves stress. Being outside provides opportunities to engage in stress relieving activities, such as walking or bicycling, too.
- Take mental breaks and identify stressors. Learn how to meditate, or start using a journal to reflect on your day. Practicing yoga or joining a spiritual community can help nurses to view challenges and goals from a fresh perspective.
- Since nurses are exposed to a wide array of unpleasant odors, surrounding themselves with pleasant odors can be therapeutic. Essential oils may be inhaled via a diffuser or through massaging and skin care oils. Rose, sandalwood, and lavender are said to be stress relieving and grounding. Citrus oils, such as lemon or tangerine, are said to be uplifting.
Nursing will always be a stressful profession. However, the level of stress can be managed better than it currently is. Solutions lie in a combination of institutional, societal, and individual