Intentional de-stressing


For nurses, relaxation can seem like work itself. We have to be very intentional–plan and make an effort –to reduce stress in our lives. Here are some ways I de-stress when I’m off the hospital floor:

1. I go somewhere new. Notorious for spontaneously checking out a new park, resturant, museum, etc., I find that getting out of my house and doing something different means I widen my world view and don’t feel like my life is all work and no play.

2. Vegging out is a treat for this nurse. Once in a while, I REALLY take the day off: I stay in my PJ’s, watch a movie or read a good book, order take-out and just chill. I also try to fit in a nap!

3. Switching off my phone and the internet is something that is actually hard for me to do, which means I probably should do it more. I’ve learned that when I disconnect myself from media, tension goes bye-bye. Plus I find myself with more time to do other things (see number 1.)

4. Loved ones often get the shaft when I am running around between my two jobs, school, and  doing other responsible stuff. So I have to make specific time for people in my life. It’s important to remember one of the main reasons I work so hard: my family. And going out with my friends always gets me back on track and feeling human again. Gotta love that neighborhood pub!

5. Then there are the areas of my life that fall by the wayside when I am busy and stressed–I don’t exercise, eat right, attend to my spiritual needs or emotional needs. This nurse actually needs a care plan for herself at times. I write down areas I would like to balance out and then pick one. Right now I’m trying to eat more healthy. Sometimes it seems like it will cause more stress to cook more meals for myself, or go to church, or take a walk because of the time involved–but the opposite is actually true.

The thing I need to remember as a very busy, often tense nurse is that when I’m intentionally taking care of Amy, I really do see stress evaporate from my life. Now for that nap…

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