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5 Tips for Maintaining Mental Health During Nursing School

Maintaining Mental Health

Nursing school can be a very stressful endeavor. The expectations to enroll in a reputable degree program, excel academically, and succeed in crucial licensure tests are just the initial challenges. Additionally, there's the constant apprehension that accompanies daily interactions with patients.

A typical nursing student carries a significant mental burden. While it's impossible to entirely eradicate the stress of nursing school, sometimes, it can even serve as motivation to perform at your peak. Here are methods to reduce some of the burden.

Make Quality Sleep a Priority

Staying up all night studying for exams is common in nursing school. A nurse's clarity of thought, sharp reflexes, and ability to swiftly make life-or-death decisions are crucial. Sleep deprivation, prevalent among students and nurses, brings forth a host of issues like compromised eye-hand coordination, daytime alertness challenges, hypertension, cardiac risks, delayed reflex actions, heightened irritability, and diminished cognitive and reactive speed. Additionally, inadequate sleep amplifies anxiety levels and hampers one's ability to manage stress effectively.

Socialize with Friends

Establishing connections with peers who can relate to your experiences is vital, as detaching from nursing school-related issues takes time. Your friends outside the nursing program may not comprehend the intricacies of your daily routine, providing an opportunity for conversations beyond textbooks, symptoms, or grades. Creating a clear boundary between your academic life and personal interactions can lead to positive mental health outcomes for nurses.

During holidays and school breaks, endeavor to reconnect with neighbors and friends through shared meals, outings, or evening activities. Nursing school can sometimes breed isolation, particularly if social engagements seem unattainable due to busy schedules. Nonetheless, dedicating even a few hours when studying hybrid ABSN programs to socialize with friends can be the remedy needed to nurture your mental well-being and gear up for another semester.

Eat Healthy

Food is the fuel that powers your body, providing essential clean energy necessary for a demanding day in nursing. This concept applies equally to your brain and the rest of your body. Following a restful night's sleep, the second most vital action for any nurse to undertake in readiness for the day is consuming a well-rounded and nutritious breakfast. Despite the often elusive nature of lunch breaks, it's crucial to have readily available quick and healthy snacks that can be consumed on the move to sustain you throughout your shift.

Work-Life Balance

As a nursing student, balancing coursework, clinical duties, and daily responsibilities can appear daunting. In this busy schedule, sleep, personal relationships, family care, and self-care are commonly sacrificed first. Without caution, accumulating these stressors can gradually influence your daily life as a nursing student.

Create a Supplementary Workout Plan

The majority of nurses engage in considerable physical activity during their shifts. This can involve prolonged walking or heavy lifting periods for some, while others with desk-based roles find the mental aspect challenging.

You are probably incorporating some necessary exercises into your daily work routine, which is advantageous. Nurses participate in diverse exercises to ensure their overall health. Overextending yourself with one particular type of activity may hinder your ability to engage in other forms of exercise.

Imbalanced workout routines, even if they are job-related, can elevate the likelihood of injuries, chronic pain, and the development of conditions such as arthritis, heart disease, or diabetes. Prioritizing the appropriate level of physical activity can leave you feeling more robust and better equipped to handle the demands of each day.

Endnote

For those contemplating a career in nursing or already at the midpoint of their degree program, adopting these stress management strategies can effectively reduce the burden of nursing school stress.

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