Coping with Stress in Times of Uncertainty: Tips for Travel Nurses

By Favorite Healthcare

April 16, 2020

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Coping with Stress in Times of Uncertainty

This article provided by Favorite Healthcare.

Today’s reality looks drastically different than it did just weeks ago. With healthcare professionals racing to the front lines to assist with the current global health crisis, stress management is more important now that it ever was before.

Day after day, we see healthcare providers around the world risking their lives to keep us safe. And while we are thankful for their commitment, we know that this can take an immense toll on physical and emotional wellbeing.

While stress is unavoidable, finding the right strategies for coping with stress in these times of uncertainty will make you and the people around you stronger.

Practice positive self-care techniques

Working in healthcare, you often prioritize your patient’s health and wellness over your own. It’s important to realize that it is not selfish to take care of yourself. Setting boundaries and taking breaks when you need to will only help you in the long run. You can’t continue caring for your patients if you don’t take care of your own physical and mental health.

Practicing self-care is critical for fighting stress and avoiding burnout. Make a list of positive coping techniques to use in times of high stress. For some, this may be exercise, meditation, or watching a funny movie. Find strategies that will work best for you.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it’s important to develop healthy habits that will support your overall wellbeing. Take care of your body with the following strategies:

  • Meditate and practice breathing techniques
  • Stretch
  • Eat healthy, well-balanced meals
  • Exercise regularly
  • Get adequate sleep
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Limit caffeine and use of alcohol

Turn off the news

With a 24-hour news cycle, it’s all too easy to spend our free time consuming the relentless media coverage on the pandemic. Hearing about the problems we face today repeatedly can be distressing. So how can we protect our mental health? We need to disconnect.

This will look different for everyone. Maybe you need to choose one day of the week to completely turn off the news and close your social media. Or, maybe you will choose to only consume the news during a specific time of day. Make sure to set boundaries for yourself.

While you’re offline, dedicate this time to doing the things you love, learning a new skill, or just getting some sunshine in the great outdoors. It’s crucial for us to find the time to unwind and have a balance between our work and personal lives in these difficult times. Remember that when you do choose to read or share information, make sure it’s from accurate sources like the CDC or WHO.

Write in a journal

Suppressing your emotions can lead to compassion fatigue or even burnout. Journaling is one of the best outlets for these emotions. Start a journal and put your thoughts and feelings down in words. You may find it beneficial to log your exercise, track eating habits, or set daily routines and goals. Writing in a journal can help you better understand your emotions and the patterns of what causes your stress.

Stay connected with your loved ones

No one can get through this crazy world on their own. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and think that stress may affect your ability to care for your patients, ask for help. Now is not the time to stop communicating with others.

Talk to the people you trust such as friends, teammates, or loved ones about your experiences and feelings. The people closest to you will provide a sense of comfort in these challenging times. Staying connected is even more important as we continue to isolate ourselves.

What are some of the strategies you use when coping with stress and burnout? Share with us in the comments below!

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