It goes without saying that nurses play an important role in our healthcare system. In many ways, they are the glue that holds everything — and everyone — together. Nursing can be an awfully demanding job, though, and it’s all too common for nurse practitioners (whether they’re new or well-seasoned) to experience burnout.
This article will highlight some of the most effective tips for avoiding burnout and practicing self-care as a nurse practitioner. Remember, in order to care for people, nurses need to care for themselves first. Not getting enough sleep or constantly finding yourself in a bad mood can have a detrimental effect on essential work. Thankfully, these self-care strategies should help.
Perhaps you’ve already heard a little bit about the benefits of breathwork. You’re working a stressful job, after all, and knowing how to practice deep breathing through the most harrowing moments can be incredibly beneficial. If you’re dealing with stress while at work or even just while navigating online accelerated BSN nursing programs, this might just be the solution you’ve been looking for.
Deep breathing is quite easy to learn. Start by inhaling deeply through your nostrils. Pause for a moment, and then gently exhale through your mouth. Continue doing this for a few minutes. Deep breathing is a great portable stress-relief technique, so whether you’re in the operating room or on your commute to work, you can calm yourself down in minutes.
Mindfulness meditation is getting more popular because it’s a great way to deal with stress and improve your overall well-being. This form of meditation involves paying close attention to what’s happening around you, how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking about without judgment. To give it a try, find a quiet and comfortable place.
Sit down and focus on your breathing, the things around you, and how you’re feeling. The great thing about mindful meditation is that even if you only do it for 10 to 20 minutes every day and it can help to lower stress levels according to science. This makes the practice a useful tool for nurses and anyone looking to stay relaxed and balanced during their workday or at home.
You’ve probably heard this advice before, but that’s because it’s a really important aspect of general well-being. Although it can be difficult to find time to exercise daily as a nurse practitioner, getting enough exercise is incredibly important for health and focus. It’s recommended to start small and balance a manageable exercise routine with periods of rest.
The idea of getting up earlier in the morning or going to the gym after work may not sound pleasant after a long day, but once a routine is found, you might find that you actually look forward to it. It’s just a matter of forming healthy habits. It won’t be easy initially, but it will be worth the effort.
Get Enough Sleep
Naturally, getting more sleep is easier said than done as a nurse practitioner. As work long hours are the norm, it may be necessary to sneak in a few power naps here and there to ensure that seven to eight hours of sleep is achieved daily. Not getting enough sleep can not only negatively affect a person’s mood but it can impact their ability to work and even function properly in extreme cases.
Before bed it is recommended to limit screen time so put the smartphone away and focus solely on getting enough rest. Try taking a relaxing bath or listening to some classical music after a long shift at work. It may be beneficial to exercise or do some gentle stretching or breathing exercises to help the body relax enough to settle down for bed.
Take More Breaks
Taking enough breaks is an important part of maintaining a healthy work-life balance. While at work, try taking short walks around the block every now and then. This practice will give you a chance to get some fresh air and clear the mind. Consider writing down your thoughts and emotions in a notebook or journal during these short breaks as a way to process emotional experiences if you find you are having a rough day.