Manage Stress, Avoid Burnout


Manage Stress

The high stress nature of nursing can lead to burn out, and it can leak into your personal life. Learn how to manage that stress so you can have a long career and a happy life.

  • Mindful Immersion

    mindful nurse immersion meditationTip 5 of 6 Mindfulness Exercises You Can Try Today

    The intention of this exercise is to cultivate contentment in the moment and escape the persistent striving we find ourselves caught up in on a daily basis.

    Rather than anxiously wanting to finish an everyday routine task in order to get on with doing something else, take that regular routine and fully experience it like never before.

    For example: if you are cleaning your house, pay attention to every detail of the activity. Read more…

  • How to love and care for yourself unconditionally

    Are you able to relax, have fun, and enjoy the simple pleasures of life? Or do you:

    • have trouble falling or staying asleep?
    • smoke, drink, or eat to reduce tension?
    • have headaches, back pain, or stomach problems?
    • get irritated or upset over insignificant things?
    • have too much to do and too little time to do it?

    Read more…

  • Tap your way to fast relief

    relief emotional freedom technique tapCan symptomatic relief from fear, stress, anxiety, and a laundry list of other ailments really be at your fingertips? The many people who use Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) think so. Read more…

  • Tired of caring? You may have compassion fatigue

    Do you have trouble remembering what drew you to nursing? Do you take alternative paths through the unit to avoid running into a patient’s family members? Do your colleagues get on your last nerve? Are you ashamed of how you’ve started to feel about your patients, coworkers, family—and the world? Read more…

  • Building moral resilience to neutralize moral distress

    Moral distress occurs when one recognizes one’s moral responsibility in a situation; evaluates the various courses of action; and identifies, in accordance with one’s beliefs, the morally correct decision—but is then prevented from following through.
    The literature is replete with the mounting evidence of the incidence and sources of moral distress. Read more…

  • Writing for good health

    journaling your health nursesIf you asked nurses how they reduce job stress, you probably wouldn’t expect them to reply, “By writing.” In fact, a recent research study of nurses’ preferences for stress-relieving activities didn’t include writing as an option. Few people would choose writing to relax.

    At the beginning of a writing workshop with nurses, I often ask, “Who hates writing?” My hand is the first to go up, followed by that of nearly everyone in the room—and for good reason. Writing reports, patient assessment findings, and other types of clinical documentation can be the most tedious aspect of healthcare work. Read more…

  • Achieving a work-life balance

    Almost everyone agrees that achieving a work-life balance is a good thing. Without it, we risk long-term negative effects on our physical and mental health, our relationships, and our work performance. But many nurses have a hard time achieving this balance due to job demands, erratic work schedules, or inability to say no when someone asks for help. Read more…

  • Resting not regretting

    “We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.”
    — William Shakespeare

    As informal mentors, coaches, and preceptors to many new nursing graduates, we experienced Read more…

  • When caregiving ignites burnout – New ways to douse the flames

    caregiving burnout hostility codependent empowerment wellness nurseMost nurses enjoy taking care of others — it’s what drew them into their profession and provides satisfaction throughout their careers, to varying degrees. Caregiving at its best has mutual benefits for nurse and patient. It’s a job that requires hard work, discipline, and the emotional resilience to help patients, especially those in severe pain or in the process of dying. Read more…

  • Mantram repetition: A portable, mindful, contemplative practice for the workplace

    Have you ever been at work and wanted to be on vacation, instead? Have you ever wished that you could “beam me up, Scotty” and be transported instantly to another place and time? Have you longed for some instant rest and relaxation? Read more…

  • Examining nurse comfort eating

    Examing nurse comfort eatingMany years ago I found myself standing in the frozen food section flirting with the prospect of buying a mouth-watering strawberry cheesecake. I rationalized buying it by convincing myself I would eat only one small piece. So there I was later, being a couch potato and watching T.V. when I gave in to my craving and made a beeline to my dear friend the refrigerator. I plopped the frozen cheesecake on my lap in front of the TV and, without giving the dessert a chance to thaw out, Read more…

  • Providing workplace renewal opportunities for nurses

    Stress among nurses is caused not only by the demands of clinical care, but also the continual outlay of compassion required to meet the emotional needs of patients and families. In a fast-paced clinical setting, however, nurses are not typically afforded the necessary respite for reflection and renewal. Read more…

  • Caregiving for a family member can be difficult

    caregiver holding hands care familyNursing is my passion. I began to work as a professional caregiver 35 years ago. If I had to make a career choice today, I would still choose to become a nurse. Yet nursing school could not have prepared me for the challenge of caring for a family member. Being a professional caregiver differs from being a “lay” caregiver for a family member. As a nurse, you know not to become too involved with your patient—not to cross that invisible line.

    Read more…

  • Walking the labyrinth: An exercise in self-healing

    labyrinth self healing walk exerciseDoes your job have you running around in circles? Are you super-stressed out, but too jittery to ease your tension with a sitting meditation? Then maybe it's time you tried a labyrinth. No I'm not suggesting you imitate a rat in a maze. A labyrinth, unlike a maze, has no dead ends, blind passages, or wrong turns to frustrate you. Being in one is usually soothing, like a walking meditation. Read more…

  • Balancing the wheels of life

    BalancingHave you ever ridden a bicycle with a wobbly wheel? The ride isn’t smooth, and you notice every bump in the road. As you focus on your discomfort, you may be distracted from the beautiful vistas you’re riding past.

    Think of the bicycle as your overall health, which carries you through life. For most of us, Read more…

  • From our readers: Two years after the Sandy Hook tragedy, PTSD remains

    Two years after the Sandy Hook tragedy, PTSD remainsAs my family got through the second anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, I have felt the need to share what is happening in the community with my nurse colleagues to show the long-term effects of the trauma. Nurses might ask; where are we now? What was missing when the recovery efforts were established? Did we get what we needed from all the aid that came upon our town? Read more…

  • How working nights can work in your favor

    Shortly after I completed my master’s degree in nursing, I spoke with my nurse mentor about my career decisions. At the time, I was working as a night-shift emergency department educator. "Get off the night shift," she urged, "and into the real world." Read more…

  • From our readers…How focusing on spiritual needs benefits the nurse

    nurture spirit nurseThere is no question that in the complex and fast-paced world of healthcare, high levels of stress and tension are just part of the territory. Medical and technological advances over the last few decades have been beneficial, but have also taken our focus away from “being” with our patients to “doing” for our patients to a large extent. A nurse’s day revolves around many tasks to accomplish and attention Read more…

  • Who are you?

    You probably have many labels—nurse, wife, mother, sister, aunt (or husband, son, father, brother, uncle), neighbor, or volunteer, for instance. But who are you—really? When the day is done and it’s just you in the mirror, who’s the person behind the labels? Read more…

  • Laugh, nurse, laugh!

    Victor Borge, the famous Danish comedian, pianist, and conductor once said, “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.” Infusing laughter and humor into your work life is a powerful tool that can improve communication, reduce stress, foster cohesiveness, and boost overall performance and staff engagement. (See It starts with a smile.) Read more…

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