Medical Professionals who work shifts know all too well that stress is the name of the game. It’s hard to eat regularly, take breaks, or do much of anything during an action-packed 12-hour day; patients need you all the time, sometimes hospitals are short staffed, and you rarely get more than five minutes alone to sit down and breathe.Saying the job is stressful is an understatement. I’m going to reveal how to relieve stress while on the job.
How to Relieve Stress:
It’s not always easy to find time to exercise, especially when working. But if you can, it’s one of the best things you can do to alleviate stress.Even if it’s for 5 minutes, if you do push ups, take a jog, or practice some yoga, the movement and increase in heart rate can take your mind off of the tasks of the day and help level you out.
Exercising is a great time to focus on nothing besides your breathing and the task at hand. Exercise has been proven as one of the best ways to decrease stress. When you strengthen your body and mind through exercise, your body can better fight off disease. Exercise increases agility, mental alertness, and produces endorphins that fight against stress and improve mood and overall function.
2. Eat Healthy
When you have a crazy schedule, it’s hard to eat healthy. You usually have no time to eat a full meal and there is little time to actually plan and count calories. But eating right is super important to lowering your stress levels. The food we intake affects how we feel, our blood pressure, and our energy. If we eat junk all the time we feel bad and we act bad.
All the sugar and horrible calories we put into our bodies can give us anxiety and high blood pressure which makes us feel terrible and can increase body aches and head aches. Also, if we have an increase in blood pressure our breathing can get out of whack and cause even more anxiety, which in-turn increases stress. Eat right, decrease stress.
3. Take Time Off
It’s hard to do sometimes, and each of us are only allotted a specific amount of time off per year, but taking time away from your job is important. If you work day in and day out, especially on a medical professional schedule, you need some time off. You will go crazy if not, and your job will suffer. A person can only do so much until they can’t do anymore, and if you work yourself to death, it won’t help you, your employer, or your patients.
Take some time for yourself to regroup, collect yourself, and de-stress. It’s been shown that employees who take time off not only help themselves, but help their employers because they do better at their jobs and are happier when they return.
Being unorganized further stresses a person out. If your mind is cluttered it won’t help to have your living and working environments messy as well. Organization helps you keep things clear and at reach. Arranging your environment also helps you arrange mental items in your brain, which can de-clutter and de-stress.
If you have clear places for items in your brain you can easily recall them especially if they are written out and organized in your life. De-cluttering your work space lets you easily recall where important things are; the same goes for your mind. If you write things down and compartmentalize, you can better free your mind for more productive things and decrease the stress that comes with clutter and disorganization.
5. Talk to People
Talking to people is a great way to voice problems and concerns and relieve stress. Find someone who you can relate to and voice your anxieties to. They can help you problem solve and reason out daily anxieties you have at your job. You don’t want to talk to everybody, and you don’t want a lot of people knowing your anxieties, but if you can find one or two people who you can talk to, it can greatly help out in stressful work environments.
Sometimes hearing other people’s stresses can help ease some of your own as well. Hearing people talk about what makes them crazy can put in perspective your own problems and help you solve them in a third-person kind of way. It’s good to have someone to talk to and can greatly help out in a tumultuous situation.
6. Make Friends
Making friends is another good way to help reduce stress in the workplace. If you go at it alone, it can be hard and really build up stress. If you have no friends, you don’t have anyone to really voice your candid opinion to, eat with, or exercise with. If you make a colleague-friend, they can relate with you because they go through the same things, and have the same schedule.
You can confide in them and they in you which can really help when the anxieties of work life start to build; at least you know there is another person it the struggle with you–it can do wonders for your psyche. Plus, it never hurts to have more friends. Having more friends builds confidence and helps stave off loneliness.
Laughing is good medicine, especially for anxiety and stress. Laughing causes a physical change in your body that reduces stress and increases happiness. This is because of the release of endorphins, the stimulation of organs, and muscle relaxation properties. Laughter causes your body to up it’s pain killing hormones which makes us feel good and relieves anxiety. Also, the increase in oxygen that we breathe in stimulates our hearts and lungs which gets our blood pumping and can relieve stress–in a good way, not like sugar.
Overall laughter lightens our mood and makes it easier for us to handle situations and be around. The long-term effects of laughter strengthens our immune system and just makes us overall a more light and happy person. Laughing more is better than its opposite, which is to be a curmudgeonly stiff, unhappy person who nobody wants to be around. So laugh more. People will like you and you won’t be so stressed.
8. Have Realistic Expectations
We all dream and dreaming is a good thing. But many times when our realities don’t meet our expectations it makes us depressed, especially in the workplace. Know where you stand and be okay with that. If you are working harder than you think you are getting paid for, welcome to the real world. Unfortunately, that’s a pill we all have to swallow, but if you have been at it for a while and are getting nowhere, then sit down with your boss and have a heart-to-heart.
More times than not, they don’t even realize the complications you experience and are unaware of your unhappiness. They would rather keep you on and keep you happy(-ish) than bring on someone new and go through all the hiring and training processes. So talk to them. Let them know where you stand and don’t be a grouch about it. It’s good to have realistic expectations for where you are and where you want to go. It’s a rarity to get to the top by doing nothing (I know we all seem to see it on social media and stuff, but that’s not real). So keep doing your best and realize Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither is your career going to be.
9. Do Your Best
Along the same lines of the previous sentiment, one can only do one’s best and accept that. Don’t compare yourself to others or you will always be disappointed and stressed out. Live up to your own standards and do the best you can do for where you are at and for where you want to go. If you live your life trying to live up to what you see on social media, or trying to be like Suzy B. Perfect, who exists at your job only to do what she can for your company, you will be miserable. Most chances are those people aren’t happy existing in the standards they have to live in to uphold those positions, so believe that you don’t want to be them anyway. Being you is the best thing to be.
10. Be Positive
This is a hard one, because life can really suck sometimes. But it really is the key to a lot of problems. Having a positive attitude has allowed people to overcome some impressive obstacles. The mind holds a strong position in how we exist in this world, so if you go around with a sour attitude, more than likely your reality will suck. It’s easy to look at the negatives, be the difference and find the positives in life. I bet that things will improve and your stresses will decrease if you start looking at things through happier glasses.
Working any job isn’t easy and it takes so much time away from the lives we want to live, but unfortunately it is a way of life we can’t escape. Use these resources and suggestions to better help you manage your on-the-job stress and live a happier life in and out of the hospital.