If there’s one thing nurses and healthcare professionals in any discipline understand, it’s stress. Yep, it kind of goes with the territory, and we’re sure all of you have your own little tricks to alleviate the stress you feel after another day on the job. Today we want to add to your repertoire.
April is Stress Awareness Month, so today we’re releasing the first in a short series of blogs we’ll be doing focused on issues of stress. This first one starts with a skill we all want, ways to de-stress as quickly as possible. If you do these already, great. If you don't utilize these tricks, give them a try. They may be just the stress reliever you need.
* Get some exercise. This one is good for you in more ways than one. Walk, run, hike or bike, whatever mode of exercise you prefer, get out and get active. Even a 20-minute walk can improve your mood for up to 12 hours. Pick a mode of exercise you enjoy and you'll reduce your stress all the faster.
* Think positive. When you’re stressed out, it pays to have someone in your corner, but in some cases that someone simply needs to be you. Thinking about your own shortcomings or failures will only increase your stress, so think about your successes and your abilities — and don't be afraid to pump yourself up resume style — and you'll reduce your stress by doing so.
* Put your health first. You’re not you when you feel poorly, and that compounds your stress. Eat right and get plenty of sleep to protect your physical health, and to guard your mental health, make sure you schedule some “you” time doing activities you enjoy with people you enjoy spending time with. It’s just the boost you need to rebound.
* Learn to laugh ... a lot. You’ve heard it before but it’s true: Sometimes laughter really is the best medicine, especially when it comes to lowering your stress. Laughing has been proven to reduce your feelings of tension while improving the flow of blood to your heart. Think about what makes you laugh and indulge in it, as much as your sides can take.
Now we want to hear from you. What do you do to de-stress?