By Lucy Osborn MACN
This column, The Scrubs that Fit, is all about the highs and lows of being a junior nurse, from the perspective of an ACN Emerging Nurse Leader. The aim of these blog posts is to help ease the transition from university to grad years and beyond. Find Lucy on ACN’s neo and on Instagram @aussie_nurses.
I am part of a young generation, who are concerned about their mental well-being at work (Australian Financial Review, 2019). Mental health issues are prominent, lifestyle stressors are increasing and we’ve found ourselves in one of the most stressful jobs around. Nursing, as you all know, is emotionally and physically taxing. We spend more time looking after patients than ourselves.
These stresses and pressures have meant I have had to create strategies to help clear my head when I feel overwhelmed in the workplace. I’ve created two short videos to show how I deal with stress.
What I’m finding helps me cope with my huge workload and stress is writing lists; I see people do it all of the time but never got into it because I knew I would never look at them once I had written it. I decided to give it a go but took away the intention of revisiting the list later.
If I’m lucky enough to be able to pin point what’s stressing me out I write it at the top of my white board and make a list of whatever it is I need to do, change or accept for it to be less stressful. In this one I have a basic week to-do list and all of my current commitments. It’s a fair bit, but that’s why I started writing it down!!
Planning clear goals
Keep your upcoming goals simple, clean and let your brain have a break. This is why I call my white board, my Brain Board. There are no right or wrong ways to do this, I like to use pretty colours and stickers. I use the board to help me filter through what I need to be taking action on and what I can put in the let it be pile.
For me this means these ideas are not clogging up space in my head, I can process them better as I write them down. It really surprised me that it has been working as I was never much of a writer and I never really learnt by writing things down.
Don’t forget to look after yourself
When feeling overwhelmed, it is vital that you remember to care for yourself. Some personal self-care tips are:
- Take your annual leave, even if you don’t travel
- Eat and sleep well
- Get a relaxing massage
- Enjoy life outside of work
I’ll be going into more detail about self-care in an article at a later date, so keep an eye out!
In my next article I will share two videos explaining why I’m a nurse and my strengths and weakness breakdown. Find me @aussie_nurses on Instagram to see more of my videos.