How to Relieve Stress as an RN

As a Registered Nurse, you're bound to experience stress from time to time. Learn effective strategies for coping with and managing stress as an RN in this article.
How to Relieve Stress as an RN

Few occupations are as demanding or stressful as nursing. Stress among Registered Nurses (RNs) stems from a variety of factors, including the emotional toll of the profession, workplace conflicts, and conflicting or contradictory management styles. Whether you're aspiring to become an RN or have already embarked on your nursing career, developing effective stress management techniques is crucial to not only cope with stress but also prevent it from occurring in the first place. Implement these strategies to proactively manage stress and effectively handle stressful situations when they arise:

1. Acknowledge and Identify Your Feelings

RNs often try to cope with stress by denying it's happening. However, you can't solve a problem without identifying it first. Work on being in touch with your emotions. When you are feeling stressed, don't push away those feelings. Acknowledge them so you can do something about them.

2. Hone Your Skills

One thing that contributes to stress as an RN is not being confident in your abilities. If you feel like you aren't up to par with any aspect of your job, get help. Additional training may be the key to eliminating this stressful aspect of your job.

3. Communicate Effectively

Communication is crucial when it comes to being a successful RN. It's also a great way to keep stress at bay. Be open, honest, and transparent with patients, coworkers, and supervisors. When everyone is on the same page, conflict is less likely to arise, and everyone's stress levels will be the better for it.

4. Find a Mentor

Having someone to commiserate with is great, and RNs typically turn to coworkers for this. An even better option is to find a mentor to help you work through various problems that may be contributing to your stress. Ideally, your mentor should have extensive nursing experience, and they should be available to you when you need them.

5. Stay Organized

Few things create stress more quickly than complete chaos. As an RN, you're likely to deal with several duties in a single day. Mapping out a plan of attack before your shift begins will help you stay on top of things. Prioritize various aspects of your day early to enjoy a smoother, easier shift.

6. Keep a Journal

Sometimes, you just need to get things off your chest. Journaling is a great way to do so. In your journal, you can express yourself without worrying about upsetting others. Often, putting things down on paper puts them into perspective too, and seemingly huge problems look a lot more manageable.

7. Take Care of Yourself

Without exercise, rest, and proper nutrition, even the easiest shifts will seem overwhelming and unmanageable. With that in mind, place a top priority on caring for yourself. As tempting as it may be to burn the candle at both ends, strive to achieve a better work-life balance. Set aside at least an hour per day just for yourself, and go easy on yourself in general. No one is perfect, after all.

Remember, You Are Not Alone

Early in your career as an RN, you're more likely to encounter stress. After all, you're learning the ropes. Even experienced RNs get stressed from time to time, but the most successful ones have plenty of stress management tricks up their sleeves. Learn some now to lay the foundation for a happy, successful nursing career.

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