On any given day, there are a number of things that can go wrong to derail your shift and fray your nerves. But frayed nerves can lead to anxiety, and anxiety can lead to mistakes. So it’s important for each nurse to have an action plan for how to recognize, manage and avoid anxiety on the job.
We turned to the nurses on our Facebook page for some of their best tactics for eliminating anxiety, and here’s what they had to say:
“Mediation and guided visualization.” —Emily K.
“Diazepam. The old’uns are the best’uns.” —Chris H.
“Take it all in, then unleash when I’m with someone in a car. That way there is no way to escape unless they want to walk.” —Jeannie R.
“I walk to the washroom and splash cold water and breathe to 10.” —Gracie R.
“Try to focus on my breathing and talk myself through the situation in my head.” —Hazel W.
“Tense up my hands, hold them as tight as possible and then suddenly release. Also eating as ‘clean’ as possible keeps my mind clearer and less likely to panic.” —Linda B.
Find a private area and do 25 push ups or other quick physical activity and visualize myself creating a positive to the stressful situation 👍
Start counting backwards from 1000. Gets you focused on something other than your negative thoughts!
Dance naked in front of your pets. Obviously you can’t do this at work.
Mindfulness, rhythmic breathing, and classical music helps me destress!
Breathing, with closed mouth inhale like you are smelling roses, with puckered lips exhale as if blowing out birthday candles. With each breath let your muscles go limp, like a rag doll. And most importantly think of a time you felt similar feeling and you muscled thru it, came out just fine. We, too often, doubt our ability to get thru certain things. We are stronger than we think!
Get outside and walk even for 5 minutes. Look at a picture of a fun time w friends or family. Eat a protein bar or Apple. Stretch my shoulders and upper back. Smell something nice ( I keep a spray in my locker). These are for at work. At home I take a hot bath with bath oils. Go for a long run with my favorite run tape. Walk the dog. Plant something. Self massage on a tennis ball. Color in a coloring book. Plan a fun event w friends- coffee or a walk. This may be weird but ironing calms me down. I make my own linen sprays with various scents and it makes ironing very fun. I also watch a fun movie while ironing. I hate scrubs but I don’t mind nicely ironed scented ones!!
Pray! The Lord always helps me when I include Him in my day. ?
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