There has been a greater focus on creating healthy work environments in recent years, and nurses deserve kindness, too. Regardless of your nursing position, remember that kindness is still in style.can-kindness-improve-stress-management

If you are a nursing student, new graduate nurse, educator, or chief nursing officer, remember that the foundation of nursing is rooted in caring. I don’t know what has happened to nursing over time, but we must return to caring basics as a nursing profession. Emotional intelligence and empathy can go a long way in nursing.

Research shows that kindness and helping others can decrease stress and benefit our mental health. Demonstrating kindness has been shown to reduce cortisol levels, increase self-esteem, compassion, and empathy and improve your mood.

Being kind to ourselves and caring for ourselves as nurses should be a priority.

Here are some self-care activities you can implement to be kind to yourself and others.

Sleep 

Sleep is truly underrated. It is crucial to get your rest and relaxation.

Healthy Eating

It’s not easy sometimes, but try to look for healthy eating options as much as possible. I know nurses love all things caffeine. However, reducing caffeine can be helpful.

Massage 

Massage can be highly relaxing and stress-reducing. Some nursing positions can be physically demanding, so try a nice massage. Some insurance will cover this as well.

Exercise 

Even if you are not a big workout type, you can at least go for regular walks. Walking outside and being in nature is also relaxing.

Music 

Research shows that listening to 30 minutes of music a week can reduce stress and have physiological benefits such as reduced blood pressure.

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Aromatherapy 

Aromatherapy has also been proven to reduce stress. Even having different lotions, such as lavender, can instantly reduce stress.

Deep Breathing/Stretching 

These are easy to do and can only take a few minutes but have powerful positive effects.

Healthcare providers must prioritize putting their health first. Remember to take time off regularly. No job is worth your mental or physical health. It is time we start normalizing taking time off regularly in the healthcare industry. If you are in leadership, please encourage the staff to take time off. When the team feels happy and relaxed, they can be more productive.

Be kind to yourself so that you can have more kindness for others.

Farah Laurent
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