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Reduce Stress and Rediscover Your Passion for Caregiving

2 nurses looking at a tablet

Content courtesy of IntelyCare Let's be honest. As rewarding as nursing is, it's also one of the most stressful jobs around. You probably entered the healthcare industry to help people, but many nurses often find themselves stressed and suffering from burnout due to putting their job before themselves. The long hours, demanding shifts, and challenging days as a nurse can put a strain on your physical, mental, and emotional health. This stress can not only negatively impact your well-being, but also hinders your ability to provide the best care you can to your patients. Plus, it's often harder to feel fulfilled in your work. After all the time and energy it took to become a nurse, you deserve to be happy and enjoy what you do. The first step to rediscovering your passion for caregiving is to reduce stress from your job.

What Are Some Ways To Reduce Stress?

There are plenty of factors that can add to your stress levels that are simply out of your control. But there are a few things in your control that may make a big difference in managing your stress levels. Here are four ways you can reduce stress and enjoy life just a little more.

1) Develop Wellness Practices

Wellness practices are routines that everyone can benefit from. For instance, it's important to take just a couple of minutes out of your day to do something for yourself, whether it's a short breathing exercise, a workout program, a yoga routine, or even a mobile game. Taking that time is a small way to claim mental space for yourself during the day. Although you deserve to treat yourself after a long and hard day, the scientific consensus is that stress can lead to unhealthy eating habits, which in turn can further increase your levels of stress. So it's important to maintain a healthy diet and avoid running the risk of compounding the stress you already have. It's also helpful to be social and find ways to smile and laugh with your coworkers during the day. If you find yourself unable to enjoy your job, maybe it's time to change things up and socialize with your peers more often.

2) Choose a New Hobby

Ever heard the expression, "Don't put all your eggs in one basket"? Well, that applies to mental health, too. If your whole life revolves around your work, it's harder to get a clear perspective on your sense of value and happiness, especially when your job is stressful. That's why having hobbies is a meaningful way to balance out your life.

It's important to try new things, whether it's hiking or photography or learning a new sport, how to cook a new dish, or how to play a new card game.

Dedicating time to enjoying a new activity can help you relax and reset. Even if it doesn't help solve understaffing, working conditions, or whatever is causing you stress in the workplace, it's still a great way to provide some balance to your life. Not to mention, hobbies can turn into a side gig that can earn you a little extra income.

3) Start a Dialogue

Many of these hobbies or side gigs require time -- time many full-time nursing professionals don't have. While these lifestyle changes can make an impact on stress levels, they may only be a band-aid to a larger problem. Stress from nursing during a global pandemic, low staffing levels, changing patient's lives without adequate pay, benefits, and work/life balance are burdens many nursing professionals carry. That's why it's important to start a dialogue with your facility's administrators, your peers, and your director of nursing. Opening the door for a constructive and productive conversation can be a major first step towards changing your facility's practices to reduce stress for you and your fellow nursing professionals in real, effective ways.

4) Find Flexible Nursing Roles

It's important to evaluate what's most important to you and find an employer that supports your lifestyle. If you need more schedule flexibility to spend time with your loved ones or to live the life you want to live, explore job opportunities that support that need. Per diem opportunities, school nursing, or other non-traditional nursing roles might be the answer for you.   With IntelyCare, healthcare heroes like you can enjoy the freedom and flexibility of per diem work and also take advantage of the benefits of a W2 employee. As an IntelyPro, you can simply open your mobile app to browse and pick up the shifts that work for you - and finally get the work-life balance you deserve. Are you ready to transform the way you work? Become an IntelyPro today! Check out more content from IntelyCare here.