Nursing school has earned a reputation for being challenging and stressful.
If this stress is not managed effectively, it can lead to poor academic performance and health problems.
To help you manage your stress levels during these busy times, I have compiled some useful tips that you can follow.
How Can You Deal With Stress in Nursing School?
To manage stress in nursing school, it is important to establish achievable goals to prevent feeling overwhelmed. To maintain balance, it is essential to eat healthily, exercise regularly, and get sufficient rest.
When feeling anxious, it can be helpful to seek support from friends, family, or mentors.
Staying organized with a schedule and using effective study techniques, as well as taking time for self-care activities like deep breathing exercises, can be beneficial in managing stress.
What Do You Need to Get Your Stress Under Control?
Thankfully, reducing stress doesn’t require a lot of money.
Investing time in self-care techniques and building relationships with fellow students can yield significant benefits.
To help you get started with stress reduction as a nursing student, here’s a short list of everything you’ll need.
1. A Support System
You need a group of people who support you and uplift you.
Your support system could include friends and family who enjoy spending time with you during your free time.
It can also include professors and fellow students who can give you helpful study tips or work with you to improve your grades.
2. A Routine
Being able to manage your time effectively is crucial when it comes to reducing unnecessary stress while attending nursing school.
It’s a good idea to buy a planner that can help you allocate time for your classes, clinicals, studying, work and also self-care.
A daily planner, like the Panda Planner Pro, will provide you with enough room to plan each day, take notes, and set objectives.
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3. Exercise Strategies
Exercising can boost your mood with positive endorphins or help you relax and stretch your muscles following a long study session.
Opt for a mix of cardio, strength training, and stretching.
By choosing at-home workouts, you will save time and are more apt to follow through with your exercise plans.
4. Nourishing Food
Gentle nutrition is vital to powering your body through each day. It can also help you improve your immunity, sleep better at night and better regulate your mood.
Eating healthfully does not have to be expensive. Opt for fruits and vegetables on sale for the week and cost-effective proteins, such as eggs.
They take a lot of the guesswork and pain points away when preparing and cooking good nutritious meals. I’ve tried both companies before and have liked it.
5. A Journal
A journal is important for helping you get your anxieties and other feelings out on paper and to deal with them head-on.
- Patel, Meera Lee (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 128 Pages – 08/11/2015 (Publication Date) – TarcherPerigee (Publisher)
I’ll be the first to admit journaling is not for everyone.
But if you struggle with chronic stress and nothing else seems to be working, journaling can be a really good coping mechanism. Another good stress-relieving activity is coloring. Also not one of my favorites, but so many people swear by it.
- Track, plan, dream and declutter your mind as you map out your life with the Moleskine bullet…
- Dotted pages, an index and two bookmark ribbons in a notebook made for anyone passionate about…
- With numbered pages, flap with key page for your personal bullet and colour codes and stickers…
Steps for Dealing With Nursing School Stress
Now that you have your arsenal of stress-busting tools, it’s time to put them to work as you build a calmer nursing school existence.
Follow the six steps below to create a weekly study and self-care schedule that will help you feel more joyful, relaxed, and less anxious about classes, clinical, and tests.
Step 1: Create a Schedule
Start by creating a schedule. The ideal schedule should be detailed enough that you know when you have classes, when you should be studying, and when you should step back for some “you time.”
However, it should not be so involved that you do not have any wiggle room for adding in an unexpected dinner with friends or taking a nap when you’re overly tired.
Time management is key to success in nursing school.
You’ll probably feel as if you have never been so busy before now, and you may not even feel this busy when you’re working as a licensed nurse.
Think of new ways to use your time wisely. For example, you might want to bring study cards along on your walks or combine a study group/session among friends with an evening out for appetizers.
Step 2: Know When to Step Back From Studies
You could study during every free moment you have if you so desire.
There is so much information packed into each nursing textbook and class and so much new medical research being done every year that you could never be done learning.
While a lifelong dedication to learning is vital for being a good nurse, you need to make room in your life for other pursuits that feed your mind and soul and allow you to enjoy your hobbies.
These other activities can rejuvenate your body and mind, so when you do return to your nursing studies, you will be better prepared for soaking in what you need to know.
Step 3: Formulate Smart Study Strategies
Of course, you will still need to dedicate plenty of time to studying over the course of nursing school. Consider whether you study better by yourself or with others.
I found that I did best on my own for most classes, although pharmacology was a rare exception where I found it easier to quiz the names and uses of drugs with one other classmate.
However, you may find larger study groups are more effective for you. Whichever type of studying you opt for, be sure you schedule it in your planner several times each week.
Step 4: Care for Your Body With Food and Movement
Without healthy food and enough movement, your body and mind will begin to feel sluggish.
Feeling hungry will increase your stress. Nursing school will take some time to get through, and you must maintain good health throughout these months or years.
Although it may seem like a waste of time to prepare healthy meals, you can think of it as the time you’re putting into nursing school success.
Be sure to start your day with protein and include plenty of complex carbohydrates for long-lasting energy and healthy fats to keep you full longer.
Try to stay away from processed foods and fast food, which tend to provide you with more refined carbohydrates and saturated fat than you should be consuming.
Workout sessions do not have to be long to be effective. Even a 30-minute cardio session will boost your endorphins.
Ten minutes of stretching before bed will loosen tight muscles and help you feel more relaxed and peaceful. When you’re feeling particularly stressed, a short exercise session can break through your anger or worry.
Step 5: Make Time for Rest
As you build your daily and weekly schedules, be sure you schedule time for sleep.
Individuals over the age of 18 should be getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, and you’re sure to find your sweet spot where you feel your most rested and energetic.
For example, I feel best when I sleep at least 8 hours each night, but you may feel great at 7 hours and overly tired and sluggish with 9 hours.
Keep in mind that rest is different from sleep. There are times when you may need to rest your mind but do not need to go to bed to do so.
Restful activities will probably look different for you than they do for me. While I find knitting, painting, or reading a book very restful to my mind, you may prefer a hike through nature, a warm bath, or even a baking session in your kitchen.
Be sure to make time for these rejuvenating experiences that will make your classroom and study times more effective.
Step 6: Deal With Your Emotions
Feelings of anxiety, stress, and even inadequacy may be inevitable in nursing school, but you can take steps to deal with these emotions as they occur rather than sweeping them under the rug.
Find a safe place where you can share your emotions. This might be a parent, a significant other, or a good friend. Whoever you choose should be able to hold your confidence.
You can also deal with some of your emotions on your own. As I mentioned, exercising can help burn off some stress. You may also find it helpful to journal.
Record how you’re feeling each day and what is causing you stress. The simple act of writing down your emotions can help you let them go.
Saying Goodbye to Stress
All of the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of nursing school can lead to loads of stress.
Dealing with your stress regularly and taking steps to reduce daily worries will help nursing school become a more positive experience.
Comment below with tips that have helped you cope with your school-related stress.
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