Nurses: When sleep eludes you
Effective stress management interventions help nurses to cool down after a challenging shift. You’ll sleep better after a cool-down experience!
It’s been one of those shifts. You are home, but your thoughts are in overdrive. Even if you can put thoughts of work behind you, other thoughts intrude – friends, family, all the stuff you have no time for. Or maybe you are rehashing old troubling events. You’re restless, maybe your muscles are tense, and sleep isn’t happening.
It’s time to face your reality: you are experiencing a form of stress often brought on by being in a stressful environment, being vigilant (aren’t nurses always vigilant?), and being super busy. Here’s the thing about stress. It drains your energy leaving you on empty. But practicing effective stress management can make the difference between feeling exhausted and energized. Release the stress, both internal and external, and allow yourself to cool down after the intensity of work. You’ll be better able to rest.
Maybe you’ve tried to relax. But often when stress management interventions (SMIs) don’t work they weren’t the right match for the situation. There is no one-size-fits-all intervention that works in all situations. You need a collection. Try each of these stress management interventions, and decide which ones are best from you.
Five ways to release stress
This simple practice from Healthy Nurse, Healthy NationTM is a lovely way to renter the world after the insular experience of working your nursing shift. It’s easy to do, requiring no additional training. Click here for the step-by-step process you can do in just a few moments.
Mental Health Help For Nurses – Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ (scroll down to the subtitle “Going Home From Work.”
Emotional Freedom Technique
From the American Holistic Nurses Association, here’s a free download about how to use EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or Tapping as it’s often called. EFT is a fascinating evidence based practice utilizing the principles of acupressure and cognitive therapy approaches. It’s a great way to release negativity, worries, and self-defeating beliefs like, “I can’t get to sleep!” EFT only takes a few moments.
Eden Energy Medicine
Here’s a link to a short YouTube video by Donna Eden, the author of Energy Medicine and founder of Eden Energy Medicine, and David Feinstein, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist. In 4:33 minutes you can learn three energy medicine techniques to reduce stress and anxiety that you can implement immediately! I find the Eden Energy Medicine techniques really helpful for times when I can’t settle down, and for times when I need to release pent-up energy quietly.
I developed this short webinar series for nurses at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic, when sleep was elusive and stress was rampant. Part 1 offers lots of suggestions for cooling down. Part 2 guides you to gather up your strength to return to a challenging work situation. You get two guided exercises to download: an audio guided meditation for sleep titled, “Starry Starry Night” and a complimentary audio titled, “Strong Affirmations for Work.”
Gentle, soothing Reiki. If you already know how to do Reiki, try using it to cool down after your shift. If you don’t know, schedule an after-work session with a Reiki provider. If you like it, both lay people and healthcare professionals can learn to do Reiki on themselves. The first step, Reiki Level One, is often taught in a one-day class. Read more in my blog about Reiki.
Meaningful stress management
After a long shift, you deserve some rest. Now that work is done, make yourself a priority and take some time to cool down. The secret to success is to use timely, frequent, mindful and meaningful stress management interventions ideally matched to the situation you find yourself in. Take a few well-deserved moments for yourself to try these stress management interventions.
But there is no one-size-fits all solution that will work in all situations. See which of these stress management interventions work best for you. You’re worth it!
In peace, Gale
Dive deeper into stress solutions
If you need additional inspiration and great tool to organize your collection of SMIs, TLC has a FREE report to help. Click here for your free copy of Stress Solutions: 100+ Tips for Nurses. This collection of stress management interventions for nurses by nurses and other experts offers lots of ways to release stress and restore your energy, at work and beyond, in just a few moments.
And if finding the time to practice stress management interventions is a challenge, we have a course for that! Managing Stress, Mindfully helps you to expertly choose, find time, and use stress solutions with maximum outcomes. Expert content, experience based webinars, practical tools, and five stress management secrets ensures you will find the time to use what you learn!