Self Care

5 Ways For Carers & Nurses To Combat Stress

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As a Carer or Nurse, you are more than familiar with putting individuals needs before your own, however, there comes a time when you also need to take care of yourself too.

Helping give quality of life to those that struggle to do it on their own is very rewarding, but it can also be incredibly stressful. You may encounter individuals that are reluctant to receive help, despite needing it or others that outright refuse to follow instructions. Resistance can be stressful, but even more so as you approach the end of your exhausting 12-hour night shift.

That’s why we have put together 5 ways that carers and nurses can combat stress levels.

  1. Take A Deep Breath When you feel yourself getting worked up during a difficult situation, take a slow, deep breath. Amongst several other rhythmic activities, taking a deep breathe helps to reduce stress during a difficult scenario. By taking a minute to breathe deeply, you are also allowing time to emotionally and physically collect yourself.
  2. Remember It’s Not PersonalIt is important to remember that patients and their family members are experiencing a lot of stress and emotional turmoil. There may be occasions when a patient or family member unleashes their negative emotions towards you. Although abusive behaviour is never acceptable, it is important to recognise that they may not be acknowledging you as an individual that has feelings too. Despite addressing stressed individuals calmly, you may find that a situation becomes intense. Taking a couple of minutes away from the intense situation can help to gain clarity.
  3. Take A Break During a busy shift it may seem impossible to catch a break. However, it is important that you take time for you. Carers and Nurses that take a break are not only helping themselves but their patients too. By taking that time to shut off and eat some food, you are allowing yourself to relax and refresh your mindset.
  4. Eat Well As a Carer or Nurse, you are always focused on ensuring that your patient eats well during the day. However, you often forget that you also need to eat well to care for them effectively. Skipping important meals during your shift can reduce your energy levels and increase stress and irritability levels. Maintaining a healthy and balanced diet can boost stamina, efficiency and help to reduce stress levels.
  5. Rest Getting the recommended 7-9 hours’ sleep each day is vital for reducing stress levels and increasing productivity during a shift. Skipping a few hours each day may lead to fatigue and even more stress. Ensure that you are getting the shut-eye your body requires each day.