Here are some Holistic Nursing tips for managing stress and avoiding overwhelm at work.
Holistic Nursing Self-care Strategies in 5 Minutes or Less
Gratitude–creates a more relaxed body state and helps to relieve stress. There’s always something to be grateful for. Name it. If you set out to find something to be grateful for, you will spend your time seeing opportunities for gratitude.
Self-acceptance – Most people experience self-doubt. You don’t have to believe that you are inadequate. Your mistakes and flaws don’t define you. Value your value. Be a friend to yourself.
Emotional expression–Express yourself. Look for opportunities to engage in crying and/or laughing. Acknowledge the feelings.
Crying helps reduce stress in numerous ways.
Laughter can be the best medicine of all.
Stretching – is available almost all the time. It helps relieve stress. There are lots of ways to stretch that can be done anywhere in just a moment or two.
Go for a walk. Even if it’s just two minutes in the hall. Changing the setting might help.
The 5-second rule. Count backward from 5 to 1 to refresh your thoughts. You can use it as a countdown to start something that you are hesitant about.
Affirmation. These are positive statements. “I/We are doing the best job we possibly can with the resources we have.” “I am making a difference.” “I choose calm over anxiety.”
Somatic awareness helps people process stress. Focus intently on a body part. For example, note how your hands feel when you wash them. Listen to your hands. Are they trying to tell you something? Practice noting inputs from all of your senses.
Stay hydrated. Dehydration causes stress and stress can further dehydration.
Look out the window. Viewing a natural environment–maybe it’s just the sky–relieves environmental stress.
Aromatherapy sticks can be kept in your pocket. Apply lotion to your hands,
Try hugging yourself. It can lower your cortisol levels and relieve some of your tension and stress.
Breathing – spend a few minutes just being aware of your breathing. Close your eyes or just gaze into space. Take a deep, cleansing breath. Try alternate nostril breathing. Release any intrusive thoughts. “Breathing in, I control what I can control. Breathing out, I release what I cannot control.”
Eat lunch. Eating is a stress-reduction strategy. Skipping meals contributes to stress. Sometimes high magnesium food such as dark chocolate and pumpkin seeds help people to destress. Consider choosing decaf. Take a few minutes to focus on the experience of receiving nourishment as a form of self-care. Beware of emotional eating–trying to fill an emptiness that is not hunger.
Guided imagery can be an effective stress reducer. Think about your ‘happy place’ in all of its sensory details. When you ‘come back’, you will feel a bit better.
Self-compassion lowers cortisol levels. Acknowledge your pain and anger without judging yourself. You are a human being having human experiences. Don’t belittle them. Accept them as part of life. How can you show yourself kindness in this time and place?