How do you manage stress?
My daily mantra is self care is not selfish. However, there are some shifts and some days when time flies, tasks get piled one on top of the other, two admissions from my charge nurse plus one discharge…. and my bottle of water from the morning is STILL filled to the top.
Managing wellness at work is something that I work on daily. Everyday is different so I’m learning the importance of consistently fitting MY wellness into the day, no matter how hectic. Here’s some things that have helped me maintain my wellness:
- Set an alarm to drink my water bottle — When I get dehydrated I get a headache. When I get a headache I’m less productive and not as cheery for my patients. Setting an alarm has helped me to intentionally take some time to deep breathe and rehydrate.
- Take my breaks! — So so important. When I first started working my days were filled with, “As soon as I finish doing ____ I will go for lunch”. Next thing I know an hour has passed and I’m starving. Having the mindset that my tasks will get completed when I come back and being able to approach the next half of the day refreshed and without hunger has helped me power through a shift without it feeling like it’s dragging.
- Get a good night’s rest — As much as I enjoy staying up to watch one more episode of Nurse Jackie when I’m well rested before my shift, it’s not as stressful to complete 12 hours.
- Take time for myself to cry or deep breathe in the break room/bathroom when I’m having one of those days — It helps to not have my emotions bottled in so when I feel like I’m becoming overwhelmed, I take time to regroup and reset even if it’s only for a minute or two.
- Keep a positive attitude, vent to my nurse coworkers when needed/appropriate (especially when working a shift with my nurse buddy), and know that I WILL get through.
What makes you your most lit up self?
In general, it would be being in sun on a nice beautiful beach just enjoying the moment.
At work? Teaching my patients about the steps to take to stay out of the hospital especially my heart failure patients. It truly makes me light up when I know they actually understand the information I presented
Alexandra Maye, a cardiac registered nurse, motivational speaker, and past President & immediate past Presidential Advisor to New Jersey Nursing Students, Inc. is a proud alumna of JFK Muhlenberg Dorothy H. and Harold B. Snyder School of Nursing and the University of Maryland, College Park. She is currently a student in Drexel University’s Masters in Nursing Leadership in Health Systems Management program.
While in nursing school she became aware of how often she and her peers put their own health and mental wellness on the back-burner in an effort to excel during clinical rotations and exams. Realizing the importance of personal wellness and self-care, she focused her term as the 2017-2018 President of New Jersey Nursing Students, Inc. (NJNS) and now her blog and website HeyAmayezing, on reminding nursing students, nurses, and health care professionals about the importance of taking care of one’s own mind, body, and spirit to ensure personal wellness. In order to be the best nurse for her patients, Alexandra knows she must consistently treat herself with care and respect. She is a firm believer that self-care is not selfish and aims to positively advance nursing and healthcare through her dedication to the profession, knowledge, and light.