Online RN to MSN
Clinical Systems Leadership

6 ways to beat the stress of nursing school

As a busy nursing student, it may seem like you don’t have time to relax. But unwinding doesn’t have to be a long, drawn out process. Try one of these five stress-relieving activities that only take 20 minutes on days when you need a break but don’t have the time to dedicate a whole evening to yourself.

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1. Take a bath.
You might not be able to indulge in a spa day, but you can probably find 20 minutes to pamper yourself. Draw a hot bath, put on a facial mask and soak in the water with your phone, tablet, laptop and any other electronic devices turned off. For the real spa experience, add a few drops of lavender essential oil to the bath, light a few candles and turn on some soft music in the background.

2. Breathe deeply.
It may feel like you don’t even have time to catch your breathe, but being intentional about your breathing is an easy way to get your anxiety under control. Slow down by breathing deeply through your nose, and then exhaling through your mouth. Repeat the process several times and consciously feel the tension leave your muscles.

3. Cook a healthy meal.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, self-care is critical for managing stress. While it may be tempting to turn to your favorite comfort food on busy days, the CDC reported that eating healthy is a key step for beating anxiety. However, you don’t have to prepare an elaborate four course meal. In 20 minutes you can easily cook a chicken breast and stir fry a few of your favorite vegetables for a quick dinner that’s high in protein and nutrients.

4. Use your hands.
Whether you need to look away from your textbook for a few minutes or you’ve found a 15 minute break in the work day, keep an activity close by that will keep your hands busy but your mind blank. Activities like knitting or crafting can provide a good distraction when you’re stressed. Or consider indulging your inner child by purchasing a coloring book and markers to keep at your desk.

5. Go on a run.
If your sneakers are gathering dust in your closet, tie them on and go out for a loop around your block. Exercise is a great way to get your endorphins pumping and release some tension. While it may seem like you just don’t have time to work out, a simple 20 minute run – or even walk – is easy to fit into your day and can have a huge impact on your state of mind.

6. Think about the big picture.

Still can’t seem to relax? Spend some time thinking about the big picture. Remind yourself that school won’t last forever, and once your degree is completed you’ll have a high chance of success in a field that you’re passionate about. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for nurses are expected to grow by 16 percent between 2014 and 2024, a faster than average rate across all other industries. Your future is bright, so try not to stress.

Sources:

http://www.premiernursing.com/newsletters/NL_072310_7.pdf

http://www.nursetogether.com/beat-nursing-stress-4-quick-relaxation-techniques

http://www.nursetogether.com/6-ways-nurses-handle-stress

http://scrubsmag.com/5-little-ways-for-nurses-to-relieve-stress/

http://www.cdc.gov/features/handlingstress/

http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/pages/ways-relieve-stress.aspx

http://www.cdc.gov/features/handlingstress/

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/registered-nurses.htm

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