One of the most stressful professions is Nursing and all Nurses are under a tremendous amount of stress.  The most stressed are the ED, ICU and OR Nurses, but all are under a lot of pressure of one kind or another. Dealing with traumatic injuries and terminal illness involves a lot of stress and grief. Long hours dealing with grief and injury all take a toll. Hobbies, activities and classes are a good way to help relieve some of that stress.

There’s a multitude of things you can do in the summer and anytime of the year for enjoyment and to relax.  Everyone has a different way of relaxing depending on their likes and dislikes.  From classes to hobbies to fun in the sun, there’s something for everyone.

  • Classes:  Although classes in the summer are not usually work related, there are many that can help with relaxation.  There are classes available from Feng Shui and Tai Chi to crocheting, woodworking or pottery making.   If you live in or near a fairly large city, you should have literally hundreds of choices. Anything that involves learning something new, movement or concentration is good to relieve stress.

  • Hobbies:  Already have a hobby?  Summer is a great time to pursue them.  Hiking, gardening, camping and rock collecting are all good summertime hobbies. These are all outdoor, fresh air pursuits.  Some for indoors include reading, stamp or coin collecting, knitting, baking or cooking, making jewelry or scrapbooking. 
    Starting an aquarium is fun and watching the fish is very soothing.  Learn to play a musical instrument like the piano.  The right type of music can be very relaxing.

  • Meditation: Learning to meditate is terrific for stress relief.  There are CD’s you can buy or get from the library that can teach you meditation. There are also music CD’s available for meditation.  Meditation also helps to lower blood pressure and relieve anxiety. Tai Chi is an active meditation and it’s highly recommended to help deal with stress.
  • Exercise: Bicycling, walking, yoga and swimming are all good stress relievers along with most other forms of exercise. Take a dance class or Zumba. Get out in the sunshine with boating, fishing, water skiing, flea markets and garage sales. Go antiquing or to auctions. Plenty of sun and vitamin D are great for stress.  Be sure to wear a sunscreen!

Leave it at Work

There are many ways to relieve stress, but most important is to leave it at work when you walk out the door. We know this is easier said than done.  There are going to be days when you take things home with you. You can’t avoid it.  Because you’re a Nurse, you are naturally compassionate, loving and giving.  It’s part of who you are and why you became a Nurse.  

Some other ideas — go to a museum, the local farmer’s market, the zoo, take a drive in the country or a short trip.  Just getting away for a few days can do wonders for your stress level and give you a new perspective.

To sum it up, find something you like to do that makes you feel good.  Whether it’s summer, winter, fall or spring there’s something for any time of the year.

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