Studying to become a nurse is both rewarding and challenging. If you are in nursing school, there are plenty of ways to combat the tension or stress you feel from balancing your workload and getting good grades in class. The following stress management tips will help you to thrive while you wear your student scrubs. Refer to this list when you need a reminder of how to de-stress.
Organization skills will help you to manage all your schoolwork. It will also help you to prioritize life’s responsibilities. Start by keeping a digital calendar of your class times and personal appointments. Review your schedule each week to make sure events do not overlap. Leave yourself reminders of exams, study sessions, and internships. When you feel overwhelmed, write a to-do list.
Prioritize your activities based on what you must complete and then create a second list of items that you can leave for the next day. When you separate your wants from your needs, you will ensure you complete important things while relieving yourself of unnecessary stress. If you are having trouble staying organized with your schoolwork, try separating classes into different colored notebooks or digital folders. Make calendars on your smartphone for each class you take, separating your tasks by color.
Break up large blocks of reading or big class projects by task. Schedule 30-60 minutes of studying or laboratory work per day so you can take care of yourself, go to work or spend time with your family. Set out your clothes or uniform along with your purse or backpack the night before you go to school or your internship. When you know a test is coming up, schedule blocks of study time throughout your week. Preparing for your reviews ahead of time will help you to avoid cramming all night before a test.
2.Schedule Time for Self-Care
You may have heard the term “self-care,” but how does it impact nursing students? According to Everyday Health, self-care is what you do to care for yourself so you can stay physically, mentally and emotionally healthy. When you take time for self-care activities, you become better at managing daily stressors. You also help to increase your emotional resilience and stay healthy.
Some of the best self-care activities are both relaxing and nurturing. They also help you to focus on yourself since you spend so much time caring for other people. Excellent ideas for nursing students include mindfulness meditation, walking in nature and whole-body exercises like yoga and tai chi. You may also enjoy dancing, journaling or taking a nap. Some nurses will enjoy DIY beauty activities or an at-home spa day. Others will prefer reading a book, swimming or getting a massage from a licensed massage therapist.
Do whatever activity will make you feel most calm and at ease. Practice them as often as you can. Some ideas, like a warm bath or a diary session, can be completed every day. Others, such as an outdoor hike or a yoga class, can be scheduled regularly. Prioritizing self-care is helpful for you, but it is also beneficial to your patients. As the Mayo Clinic mentions, caregivers stay resilient by setting personal health goals and taking breaks.
3.Ask for Assistance
While you pride yourself on helping others, there are times when you will also need assistance. When you are stressed about studying, do not be afraid of asking for help from your professor or even a tutor. Many nursing schools have study groups available to their students. You may also be able to hire assistance at the university for free.
It can also be helpful to reach out to your network of friends or family members. Some days, you may need a ride to class or a listening ear when you are stressed. Keeping connected with your community will allow you to stay resilient on challenging days. If you think you have symptoms of an anxiety disorder, are experiencing symptoms of depression or are dealing with the effects of a condition known as burnout, do not hesitate to talk to a psychiatrist, therapist or mental health counselor.
A licensed and experienced mental health counselor can help you to recognize your feelings, cope with your emotions and find strategies for dealing with stress. They can also help you set goals, learn new skills and get connected with other mental health professionals. Get in touch with someone if you feel frequently depressed, panicked or anxious. Resources may also be available at your nursing school.
4.Bond with Other Students
Your fellow nursing students know how difficult it can be to get high marks and manage daily tasks. Bonding with them both inside and outside of class can help you feel more understood and forget about school-related stress. Start by introducing yourself to your classmates before lectures begin.
Exchange numbers or emails. Join professional organizations, study groups or after-school internships where you will socialize and work as a team with other future nurses. You can also make more friends in nursing school by serving in a leadership role in a school club or helping to organize group social events. Plan an event to shop for cute scrubs or comfortable nursing shoes. Or choose to do something fun and educational like visiting an art museum or taking a group painting class.
If friendships do not come naturally at first, do not panic. Many nursing students are preoccupied with getting to know the material and organizing all of their responsibilities. Give everyone a chance to get to know each other in the coming weeks and months. You are sure to foster a friendship that will make nursing school more memorable.
Stay Balanced While in Nursing School
Nursing students are known for their work ethic, but it is also important to have a little fun. When you are done with your studies for the day, spend some time with friends or enjoy your favorite hobby. This is a quick and easy way to help you to de-stress from school. Remembering the ideas on the list above will also help you to prioritize yourself when you are feeling burned out or anxious.