When Nurses Need to Carry On
How do nurses continue on in the face of fear? When you next face fear, here’s three approaches you can consider using to carry on.
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Have you ever wondered how some nurses calmly do what they do, day after day? Don’t imagine that it’s easy. Look no further than Covid-19 for countless examples of nurses who needed to carry on with patient care despite their own fears. They may look calm, even though they may be experiencing fear for self, fear of infecting family or friends, fear of patients, fear of losing their job, fear of incompetence when redeployed to critical care patient units.
Courage and fear
All nurses are courageous every shift. And many nurses experience fear, at one time or another. The emotions of distress, trepidation, dread, apprehension, worry, concern, anxious, or alarm are synonyms or various degrees of fear.
When afraid, three options to consider include accepting guidance, prayer, and poetry.
Accept the guidance of your emotions
Sometimes fear/anxiety is a great protector. Consider what you might need to do immediately to be safe. Fast action to improve an unsafe situation might be the best stress reducer! When fear is present, pause for a moment before carrying on. Is there something that can be done to increase the safety of the situation you are in? If so, act on that to protect yourself and your patients.
Your personal beliefs will determine whether prayer is an option for you. If so, prayer can bring you the spiritual strength to carry on, or the clarity to know what to do. Your prayers will depend upon your religious or spiritual beliefs, and I accept and honor your beliefs. My prayer practices are best described as inter-faith. In this blog, I share my favorite prayer for peace.
I can’t say it any better than Joy Harjo: “Without poetry, we lose our way.” Find the perfect poem at this an online poetry library featuring many inspirational American poets.
Stop fear from draining your energy
The ongoing stress of fear may drain a nurse’s energy. The secret is to use timely, frequent, mindful and meaningful stress management interventions ideally matched to the situation you find yourself in. Next time you need to carry on despite your fears, consider if accepting your emotional guidance, prayer, or poetry may reduce the stress of working in fear. Take a few well-deserved moments for yourself to consider these stress management interventions. But there is no one-size-fits all solution that will work in all situations, so if these won’t help, consider what will. You’re worth it!
In peace, Gale
Dive deeper into stress solutions
If you need additional inspiration and a 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!