You may have noticed this already, but American stress levels are high and rising. Tomorrow’s election, the impending holidays, and the usual everyday stresses of work and family has just about everyone on edge. The holidays may come and go, but no matter who gets elected tomorrow night, a good majority of Americans will be in a state of panic for the next four years. Whether you can relate or not, here are a few tips that’ll help ease the stress among your patients and yourself.
The fundamentals of stress reduction revolve around oxygen. Activities that increase the intake of oxygen and its circulation will significantly reduce stress. Some activities may include taking a quick break to do some breathing exercises, or take a longer break and actually exercise! Hit two birds with one stone, and add yoga in your life. Besides increasing your oxygen levels, exercising leads to an increased release of endorphins, as does sex. So take your pick, and whatever endorphin-boosting activity you choose, do it regularly to effectively combat travel nurse stress.
Nourish the body
It’s an idea that we have been bombarded with as children, but there’s a very good reason for it. A balanced diet is a key to physical and mental health. Complex carbohydrates and lean proteins are known stress reducers because they inspire and increase serotonin production. So revamp your diet with stress-fighting foods. Also, cut back on the caffeine. Excess amounts can add extra stress to your body. For an in-depth diet action plan with the busy travel nurse in mind, check out our blog post: Happy Nurses Are Heathy Nurses.
Go to your Happy Place
Do things that make you calm. Snuggle with your pet, hug friends and family, or write down your frustrations. Add some aromatherapy and music while you’re at it. All of these things are proven to reduce stress. But don’t let your efforts go to waste. They are only effective if you’re getting proper sleep at night. Give your body the chance to rewind and nourish itself through some good old fashion REM sleep.
As a nurse, you know the effects stress has on the body all too well. But, reducing stress is as simple as remembering to eat, breathe, and sleep. It’s basic human nature, but life gets in the way and we often forget to do it properly. Just remember, you can’t take care of others if you’re not taking care of yourself.