Overwhelmed nurse sits alone in hallway with head in hand

4 Simple Stress-Relieving Exercises for Nurses

Stress-relieving exercises for nurses

For nurses and other healthcare professionals, the burden of care can be heavy, even in the best of times. Add the lingering pressure of the pandemic, the recent ‘tripledemic’ surge, and a strained healthcare system, and the weight can feel overwhelming. 

In an interview with Vivek H. Murthy, U.S. Surgeon General, an intensive care nurse in Miami put the pressure of the last few years in stark terms. “There was a point when I could no longer contain the heartbreak of everyone I lost,” he said, later recounting that he stopped counting after his 135th patient died from Covid. 

Since Covid hit, burnout rates among nurses have soared. In May 2022, the Surgeon General released an advisory press release warning the nation about the burnout crisis in the healthcare professions. 

“The nation’s health depends on the well-being of our health workforce. Confronting the long-standing drivers of burnout among our health workers must be a top national priority,” said Murthy. 

Prioritize wellness, practice mindfulness 

People tend to toss the term “self-care” around frequently in conversations about burnout, but it is an important concept. Research has shown that nurses who regularly engage in mindfulness, self-care and self-compassion may be more resilient to stressors and burnout. 

Though self-care is important, that doesn’t mean it has to be complicated. While it can be as involved as a spa retreat or a weekend getaway, it can also be practiced between shifts, on the commute, or in a break room. 

Related: 9-hour Self-Care Course Bundle 

Join yoga and meditation trainer Becky Vollmer, E-RYT, as she walks through four stress-relieving exercises ideal for busy nurses on the go:

Stress-relieving exercises for nurses, Part 1

Bring yoga off the mat with breathing exercises you can practice in your car.

Stress-relieving exercises for nurses, Part 2

Ease tension in your back, neck, and shoulders with these simple 5-minute stretches.

Stress-relieving exercises for nurses, Part 3

Ease tense muscles with a 5-minute stretching routine you can do in your chair. No equipment needed!

Stress-relieving exercises for nurses, Part 4

Calm racing thoughts and practice mindfulness with a quick breathing and meditation exercise.

Explore encouraging stories, self-care resources, and more wellness tips for healthcare professionals at www.elitelearning.com/hopefornursing.