The COVID-19 pandemic has had a massive impact on the professional and personal lives of nurses throughout the US. Working in the health care industry right now, particularly as a frontline worker, has been called exhausting as nurses are being pushed to their limits. Today’s job definition for a frontline worker is now considered to be one of the most demanding and stressful. An American Nurses Association (ANA) survey asked 22,000 nurses nationwide how they were feeling. The results found 51% felt exhausted, 43% felt overwhelmed, and 28% felt a desire to quit the profession or their current position.
So, what can be done to help those whose job it is to help everyone else?
Here are 5 ways nurses can take to reduce stress that leads to burnout:
- Make self-care a priority: A nurse's job is to take care of others, but they also need to take care of themselves. Getting seven to nine hours of sleep, exercising, taking deep breaths, spending time outdoors, and unplugging from work and phones are some of the best ways to practice self-care.
- Spend time with loved ones: Surround yourself with people who make your day better. Other nurses can relate to what you’re going through, but don’t let them stress you out about work. Be with people who let you decompress.
- Be mindful: Practice spiritual rituals, keep a gratitude journal, perform yoga, meditate, and spend some “me time.” Whether it be crafting, listening to music, or doing some yard work, do things that you enjoy.
- Communicate with your supervisors: Let them know what is causing your anxiety. Learn to advocate for yourself.
- Find help: Look into support groups, counseling or just touch base with experts in the nurse profession, like ACCESS Nursing Services, a leading regional provider of healthcare personnel to individual patients, as well as prestigious healthcare systems throughout New York and New Jersey for over 35 years. ACCESS Nursing is dedicated to supporting our nation’s nurses, as well as to their health, wellbeing, and safety.