Dealing with Pre-Shift and Post-Shift Anxiety
You may experience worrisome sensations and thoughts before or after your shift, whether you are fresh out of nursing school or a seasoned professional. Pre- and post-shift worry is frequent among nurses, and it can lead to compassion fatigue and burnout. You may be concerned about making mistakes, being rejected by a patient, and feeling inadequate. We’re here to let you know that you’re not alone in your feelings. In fact, many nurses experience anxiety related to traveling to and from work. Here are some methods for reducing anxiety before and after shifts.
- Make Regular Exercise a Part of Your Routine
Exercise is really beneficial in stress reduction. It is hard to totally remove stress in the nursing profession; nevertheless, you may learn to manage it. Exercise is a well-known method for dealing with stress and anxiety.
Exercising is a terrific way to show up for yourself, whether it’s 15 minutes of yoga over your lunch break or an outdoor jog before your shift. Even light exercise has been shown to help reduce anxiety. Check out this blog post for some pointers on how to include fitness into your breastfeeding regimen.
- Create an Inspiring Work Commute
As a nurse, the hours before work might be the most difficult to manage. Those pre-shift butterflies can develop to worry and, without adequate treatment, panic.
Consider creating a playlist of uplifting and thought-provoking podcasts to listen to during your commute. You may also make a playlist of your favorite mood-enhancing songs and listen to it on your commute to work. Make time throughout your commute to stop for a special treat, such as a fancy Frappuccino from the Starbucks drive-thru or a little bag of your favorite sweets at the gas station. These tiny gestures of self-care and pleasure may drastically improve your pre-shift mindset.
- Maintain a Journal
When you come home from your shift, many nurses advocate maintaining a notebook to jot down details of your workday. Journaling or other forms of writing can help you process your emotions and allow you to put your nervous thoughts on paper rather than allowing them to spin around in your brain. Set a timer for 15 or 20 minutes to write, and then end with some breathing exercises. Putting your ideas down on paper and narrating your experience might help to relieve tension and give you a feeling of clarity.
- Make a Relaxing Environment for Yourself
Coming home from a difficult shift to a chaotic home setting exacerbates the tension you’re attempting to alleviate. Maintaining an orderly and tidy house enables you to unwind after a hard day at work. If you come home every night to find clothes on the floor and dirty dishes in the sink, consider doing those chores before your shift so you may come home to a lovely, relaxing place to rest in after work.
Think about creating a relaxing environment in your bedroom. This can help you enhance your mood and reduce your anxiety. Using a sound machine or essential oil diffuser, for example, after your shift might assist your mind adapt to a relaxed state rather of ruminating on work worry.
- Meditation Exercises for Mindfulness
Mindfulness meditation may be a useful tool for dealing with stress and anxiety. Mindfulness meditation blends conventional meditation with the practice of mindfulness, which is described as a mental state in which you are totally focused on “the present” in order to observe and accept your thoughts, feelings, and sensations without judgment. This meditation practice can help you calm your mind and body by slowing down racing thoughts, reducing negativity, and relaxing your body and mind. To keep pre- and post-shift worry at bay, try some of these mindfulness meditation activities before and after work.