If you find yourself dreading going to work, ask yourself: How well am I managing my stress?
Chances are, caregiver, that you could use more time thinking about how to take better care of yourself. Your job-related stress can affect your patients, colleagues and loved ones, so getting it under control should be a high priority. The first step is to admit to being stressed. Then you can figure out ways to manage it.
There are many symptoms of stress, which include indecision, susceptibility to accidents, depression and anxiety. Your body will let you know that something is out of balance.
There are many ways to reduce stress, and some include measures your employer can take. Here are some actions you can take:
■ Identify what you can and cannot control. Invest time and energy into what you can manage, such as your attitude, emotions and behavior.
■ Assess your coping strategies. Do you have the skills to manage the main sources of your stress? If not, identify new coping strategies to learn.
■ Create a plan to manage your stressful periods. Identify your most stressful situations, when they are likely to occur, and how you will address them using your coping strategies.
■ Avoid trying to read minds and jumping to conclusions. You may think you know what someone is thinking or why someone is behaving a certain way, but a simple conversation may make all the difference.
■ Seek career counseling. Talking to a professional about your goals and current job can provide insights as well as an objective look at your situation. You may also get support for changes you want to make.
■ Maintain a work and life balance. Make time to connect with loved ones and activities that help you to unwind.
■ Visit your doctor. Sometimes medical interventions are needed to help you reduce and manage stress.
■ Talk about your feelings with family, friends and others in your support network.
Nursing is a rewarding and challenging profession. Do your part to make the stresses less challenging and more manageable.
Robin Farmer is a freelance journalist with a focus on health, business and education. Visit her at www.RobinFarmerWrites.com
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