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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.

  • The mindful nurse

    MindfulnessMindfulness is an increasingly common topic in both popular and professional literature. In clinical populations, evidence suggests mindfulness-based interventions (MBIs) can reduce symptoms linked to various conditions, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and depression. Among healthcare professionals, mindfulness training can reduce psychological 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…

  • Helping Sandwich Generation nurses find a work-life balance

    If you have at least one parent age 65 or older and are raising children or financially supporting a child age 18 or older, you’re part of the Sandwich Generation. Coined in 1981 by social worker Dorothy Miller, the term originally referred to women, generally in their 30s and 40s, who were “sandwiched” between young kids, spouses, employers, and aging parents. Read more…

  • Room with a view: Clutter included?

    Your “new” room is now ready—hospital room, that is. Architects are finally designing and redesigning hospital rooms that could match the suites at your local Marriott, with the built-in perk of making patients feel better. The new rooms have been lauded as “simple, airy, and visually arresting.” In August 2014, a front-page article in The New York Times Read more…

  • Caring under pressure

    Compassion is an essential ingredient for great nursing. Without compassion, you might as well come up with another word for nurse. Recently, I visited a local emergency department (ED) for management of a small-bowel obstruction, to which previous surgeries had made me susceptible. I’ve had several obstructions in the past few years; sometimes, I must go to the ED for assistance. 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…

  • 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: 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…

  • An algorithm to help you manage your stress

    Nurses face tremendous stress in their daily practice. Various environmental and personal factors can exacerbate or mitigate stress. High stress levels impair cognitive and psychomotor functioning, leading to potential errors in patient care. Experts have identified common physiologic and psychosocial responses Read more…

  • How to succeed at floating

    If you’ve ever floated,  you know the experience can be challenging at times. Wherever you work, you may sometimes feel you don’t have enough hours in the day to complete all your tasks, especially when working in clinical situations less familiar to you. 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…

  • Clinical humility: A humbled patient care

    There's a story that goes something like this: An elderly man falls down a flight of stairs at home. In the emergency department, he’s found to have four broken ribs, a pneumohemothorax that requires two chest tubes, and a large gash on his forehead that needs 12 stitches, along with some of the usual cardiopulmonary comorbidities associated with older people. While in the hospital, the patient acquires 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Reducing holiday stress

    Limiting the stress that comes with the holidays requires a bit of planning. The Cleveland Clinic offers some suggestions built around the activities that can be the most anxiety-inducing: • Holiday shopping • Planning family gatherings • Scheduling time with family and friends • Taking care of yourself—eating well and staying active • Managing your time • Coping with the… Read more…

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