Being a travel nurse can be a stressful and tiring job at times. With double shifts and night shifts constantly occupying your life, it can be easy to fall victim to nursing burnout. Just like any other career, it is important to find balance and time to relax. Follow these five strategies to prevent nursing burnout today.
5 Strategies to Prevent Nursing Burnout
Nursing Burnout versus Stress?
Often times people tend to mistake burnout for stress. According to HelpGuide.org, the differences between stress and a burnout could be identified by
- A feeling of over-engagement vs. disengagement
- A sense of hyperactivity vs. helplessness
- Causing loss of energy vs. loss of motivation
- Causing anxieties vs. depression
- Primarily having a physical vs. emotional effect
To put it simply, nursing burnout is the effect of accumulated excess stress. As a result, those suffering from nursing burnout is subjected to a state of physical and emotional exhaustion. When experiencing burnout, a person will find him/herself losing energy, feeling hopeless, depressive as well as overwhelmed. Consequently, this state of mind can cause harm to one’s relationships, health, job, as well as their emotional state.
Signs and Symptoms of Burnout
How do you know if you are on the path to experiencing a nursing burnout? Due to the severity of a burnout, the effects of a nursing burnout would encompass various aspects of your life, affecting the way that you view and experience things outside of your work. To find out, ask yourself these questions and see if they are applicable to your situation:
- Are you always in a bad mood?
- Are you suffering from loss of motivation?
- Do you feel hopeless and no longer see a reason for your work?
- Are you always tired?
- Do you find completing tasks overwhelming?
- Are you getting sick a lot?
- Do you get headaches or muscle pain?
- Are you feeling a sense of detachment? Especially with friends and family
If you find yourself answering “yes” to a majority of these questions, then you are at risk for falling into a nursing burnout. However, have no fear because we have five strategies to prevent nursing burnout.
Strategies to Prevent Nursing Burnout
1. Breathing Exercises
Oxygen is an important factor in ensuring that your body is properly functioning. Breathing exercises will help you relax and practice mindfulness, which in turn will help you decrease your stress level. Greatist.com provides various breathing techniques such as Sama Vritti, the abdominal breathing technique, and progressive relaxation to name a few. Incorporate these breathing exercises into a weekly routine to help you relax and refocus your mind from the stresses of work.
Exercising triggers your brain to release endorphins in your brain, which then releases a happy feeling in your body. Not only does exercising help you feel happier, but it also refreshes your mind and body, increasing productivity and benefiting your overall mental state. Incorporating an exercising routine into your lifestyle will help decrease stress, depressive emotions, as well as improving your ability to sleep. Aim to spend about 20-30 minutes jogging, swimming, or doing yoga for 4-5 days a week to release those endorphins.
3. Eat Healthy and Stay Hydrated
It’s not a secret that the food that you consume plays a big role in your mood and productivity. Increase your fruits and vegetable intake as well as whole grains and lean meat within your diet for an energy-boosting food palette. To increase productivity, eat food that is rich in fiber and carbohydrates. Stick to food with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids to help reduce depression and lift your mood.
Having a support system is an integral part of a healthy mental and emotional state. Take some time from your busy schedule to socialize with your friends and family to take a break from your stressful environment. It’s scientifically proven that when we are more likely be happy when we are surrounded by the people who we love – that is why humans are a social creature.
5. Make time for yourself
Despite the importance of socializing, it is just as important to spend some time alone. There’s nothing like spending some time with me, myself, and I to release the stress that has accumulated from work and to just sit back and relax.
Don’t let the stress of work push you into a nursing burnout. Follow these five strategies to prevent nursing burnout today!