Coming off of a 12-hour shift can be the most relieving feeling, but also leaves your mind and body completely battered. Handling sick patients, dealing with anxious or frustrated patients and co-workers, and even dealing with your anxieties and frustrations can be extremely taxing. That doesn’t even include the physical aspect of being on your feet the whole time. One major word is on your mind when walking out of those front doors, SLEEP! However, sleep isn’t the sole thing that’s going to get you back into a better mental or physical state for your next shift. So, what are some things you can do to get your spirits back up?
Listen To Your Body
Your body will constantly be telling you what it requires and demands. Although you are not always able to respond to this, when it comes to your days off, you should be doing your best to examine and figure out what your best recovery plan should be. For instance, if you are suffering from feet or back pain, you must try your best to address this pain. If massage or physiotherapy is something you need, explore this. Consistently pushing your body to its limit will only slow you down faster and make working a lot harder than it needs to be. When it comes to our mental health if there is something you need to get out of you, speak to someone or start journaling. Keeping everything inside can be an extremely difficult thing to manage, especially as you work in a job where you constantly are putting yourself aside for others.
Deep Breathing and Meditation
For some, incorporating this into their lives has been life-changing. For others, the thought of sitting still and breathing deeply seems absurd. It’s good to know and understand that deep breathing not only achieves incredible things for the mind but the body too. It can help with blood pressure, calming anxiety down and brings you to a clearer state of mind to make better decisions. If you can push even farther and go into meditation, then you will be doing a world of good for your mind and body.
Take some time aside to sit by yourself, with your thoughts, and have a go at various breathing or meditation techniques. If it’s good for you than it wouldn’t hurt to try it, right?
Although being around a bunch of people may not be something you particularly want to do, being around the right people can completely alter your mood. After a long and hard shift, it could be exactly what you need. Also known as your support system, the people closest to you will understand your stressful job and should recognize what to do to get your spirits back up. Whether its close personal conversation, going out and enjoying each other’s company or just sitting back and watching as your ridiculous friends babble on about something hilarious, it’ll all make for a better you the next day.
If being social was something you didn’t want to do, exercise may be something you really don’t want to do. However, just like being social, it’ll have good effects on your mood making it something you probably should at least try. Along with endorphins that will make you feel good, you’ll be doing a world of good for your body. Don’t feel like you have to run into a gym and get pumping. You can do alternate exercises like simple walks, yoga, dancing, swimming or even get into some of your favorite sports like tennis or basketball. The decision is really up to you, just get out and try and move your body a little bit.
Nurses take on a lot of responsibility and once they are off work, the obligation of putting everyone else in front of them is something that should, somewhat, disappear. If this is something you continue to do outside of work, then make sure you take some time to reevaluate yourself and what you need. Those patients need you to help them but most importantly, they need you to be at your best mental and physical self.