Confident, content nurse looking at camera with arms folded

Thriving Through Adversity: A Nurse’s Guide to Navigating Professional Stressors

Confident, content nurse looking at camera with arms folded

In the midst of a global pandemic, the eyes of the world have been on the healthcare community, and that pressure has taken its toll.

For the nurse who’s feeling overwhelmed, we’ve compiled some of the best tips to help combat burnout, stem compassion fatigue, and recharge your professional batteries.

Explore additional wellness tips in our course, Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals.

Tried-and-true burnout beaters

As a nurse, it feels instinctive to put the needs of others before your own. But beware: If you’re frequently overwhelmed and overextended, you may be experiencing burnout.

If you find yourself approaching a full-blown burnout, try these three strategies to stop nursing burnout before it happens:

Know your limits

Covering work shifts and committing personal time to help friends or family feels like the right thing to do. But here’s the truth: You can’t pour from an empty cup. If your mental health is beginning to suffer, try setting measurable limits.

  • Take your scheduled breaks and lunches.
  • Commit to no overtime for 30 days.
  • Choose one day a week where you don’t schedule extra commitments.

Be present

Worrying about your patients when you’re off the clock can fan the flames of your next burnout. When you find your thoughts drifting back to work during your downtime, take a few moments for mindful meditation.

  • Try the 4-7-8 breath: Breathe in for a count of 4, pause for 7, then breathe out for 8. This exercise puts your mind back where it belongs: with your body.
  • Focus on completing one thing at a time.
  • Minimize the thoughts you let into your mind early in the day.

Call for backup

When we take on too much instead of asking for help, the possibility for burnout increases. In your daily routine, look for tasks you can delegate.

  • Have a friend or relative drive your kids to practice once a week.
  • Ask a neighborhood teen to mow your lawn.
  • Have your partner run an errand for you.

Want more helpful tips for navigating professional stressors? Check out our course, Mindfulness for Healthcare Professionals.