Dear Stress, I think it’s time that we spend some time apart…
While doing research for this blog, I have learned that every month has some kind of national observance. Or multiple observances. And silly national days, such as National Rubber Eraser Day (April 15th) or National Lima Bean Respect Day (April 20th). April is also national Stress Awareness Month, and it focuses on the best ways to recognize burnout and how to best care for ourselves while taking care of each other.
As a nurse, I am accustomed to running on caffeine and stress. Not to mention, we are the absolute WORST at listening to our own advice. This month I decided that I would try some stress relief techniques that I’ve learned over the years, just to see if they any effect on my outlook. And you know what? I honestly think it did!
“Always laugh when you can, it is cheap medicine.”Lord Byron
Stress Management Techniques
- KNOW YOUR WORTH. Not everyone can do the job you do (this is especially true of healthcare). Be proud of yourself and what you bring to the table.
- LEARN TO SAY NO. Everyone wants to be an indispensable part of the team, but don’t let it affect your mental health. Recognize your boundaries, and realize when it is time to walk away.
- EXERCISE. Routine exercise can decrease stress hormone levels (that contribute to belly fat!) and increase endorphin levels, which improve your over-all mood.
- SPEND TIME WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS. No explanation necessary.
- RE-ASSESS YOUR TO-DO LIST. Sometimes it is easier to have a “Done” checklist than a “To-Do” checklist.
- TAKE A NAP. This is my personal favorite! I am continually amazed at how refreshed I feel after a nap, even if it’s just 20 minutes.
- DO SOMETHING YOU ENJOY. Learn a new hobby, snuggle your pets or hug a loved one.
- COUNSELLING. Sometimes we all need a little extra help or professional support in our daily lives. There is no shame in recognizing that you may need some additional resources to cope, especially with the strain that Covid-19 has placed on all of us.
- GUIDED IMAGERY AKA find your happy place.
Do not hesitate to reach out to your primary care provider for professional help or additional resources to cope with financial, mental or physical stressors that you may be experiencing. An added bonus of our campus is the availability of our chaplains to guide us through difficult times. There are many websites available that provide more education and resources regarding stress, anxiety and depression.