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Being a nurse carries plenty of responsibilities, especially during an outbreak or a pandemic. An eight-hour shift might not be enough as some need to push with going for 16 to 20 hours a day to accommodate their increasing volume of patients. With that, you can anticipate how exhausted they’d be, especially that they need to fully work their bodies as they do numerous things all at once.
With a busy schedule, nurse burnout is most likely to happen. It’ll be a state wherein they could feel very uncomfortable, along with physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion from their work nature. With that, practicing strategies to prevent nurse burnout is ideal for bringing joy back to their hearts, motivating them to get back to work, especially since many people need their service.
Listed below are the strategies for relieving nurse burnout:
Take A Break
If your company allows it, you should consider taking a break that could help to put you away from the stressful environment you always have. It might involve taking a vacation leave for a few days wherein you can go out and travel to relaxing places you wish to visit. However, if the hospital is short on medical staff and cannot accommodate anyone to leave, even just for a day, there are still options on how you can take a break without risking the hospital.
During your break times, you should try to do the things that could make you happy. It could be watching an episode of your favorite TV series, listening to music, enjoying your lunch at the park, or get away from the hospital for an hour. It’ll be a short break that could help take your mind off work, allowing you to relax, even just for a while.
While you might want to skip taking a break to accommodate your patients, you must remember that your body needs to recharge as well. You’re not a robot that can continue to function non-stop. With a short break, you can relieve yourself from work exhaustion.
Focus On The Present
There are various reasons why a nurse might experience burnout. If you’re constantly worrying about what might happen to the future, you won’t be able to benefit your mental health. The only thing you’re getting is stress, as you’ll not be able to resolve anything that is still bound to happen. While it might be challenging to put your attention away from the future, you should try to drift your attention towards the present.
Apart from worrying about the future, try to move on from past events. It might involve losing a patient, being late on your shift, staining your favorite scrub suit, and more. If there’s nothing that you can do about it, the next thing you should do is to move on and focus on the present.
Being a nurse will require you to do plenty of things for your patients to ensure the care they need while at the hospital. However, some nurses might overlap their work and personal life, not giving them the chance to rest as they put their career first over everything.
While it might be hard to separate work from your personal life, you should practice setting boundaries so you can continue to have a life outside of work. Unless it’s urgent, you shouldn’t try to be so attached to them because you will only feel even sad when the time comes that they will get discharged or worst if something uncontrollable happens with their life. It will help to provide a proper work-life balance, keeping you away from exhaustion.
Consider Relaxation Techniques
During your busiest working days, you might experience burnout, especially if there’s a crisis after crisis. If you don’t have a chance to take an hour of work, you should consider taking a short break, even if it’ll only be a bathroom break that will help. It will allow you to practice short relaxation techniques to put the stress away from your body.
There are plenty of quick and easy relaxation techniques that you could try while you’re at work. You can practice breathing exercises, short meditation, visualization, or a short massage. When going for a massage, you can easily do that yourself while you’re alone. You can use essential oil that could help you feel the relaxing aroma as you relax your muscles.
One of the most helpful ways to relieve a nurse’s burnout is by eating healthy foods during the day. If your body fails to function as standard, as you develop illnesses and diseases, you might not feel good about yourself, stressing your body a lot more about how you’re not able to take good care of your health. With a busy schedule and heavy workload, looking after your health is necessary.
Ideally, having a balanced meal for the whole day can help you prepare physically from working your body. You can pack fruits as your snacks instead of buying chips, which won’t provide a healthy contribution to your body at all. Additionally, it would be helpful to reduce your caffeine intake as too much caffeine can cause stress, putting you in an unideal scenario. With that, you should limit your coffee consumption to up to two to four cups daily.
Do Various Activities
While you’re off work, you should try to make the most out of the day by doing fun activities that could help you relax. While it might be standard for you to watch your favorite movies for the entire day, you should consider various options, giving you a new experience and see other things that you might enjoy.
You could sign up with pottery classes, go on a hike, take a trip to the spa, go to the beach, explore experimental restaurants, and more. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone as you might discover new things that you can do during your break, giving you something to look forward to every off-duty day, apart from resting from work.
Nurse burnout is existent, no matter how awful it is. As you carry plenty of things on your shoulders, you always feel overworked. You try to find ways to relieve yourself from exhaustion and be able to enjoy your day. The last thing you’d want to happen is to evolve your whole life with work and miss out on fun experiences right around the corner. Don’t forget to take care of yourself as your well-being is as important as your work.