A Nurse With Attitude

Where Dark Cynical Humor, Nursing Issues, and Politics Seem to Merge

Coping with Stress



You would think that it would be common knowledge as a nurse.  I guess I’m a denier and thus the last to know.  But stress is perhaps the most common reason why people get sick. Unfortunately, stress is part of everyday life.  I feel that nurses are liken to air traffic controllers.  They manage very high stress and dealing with non-compliant irate doctors while forced to work with apathetic administrators can weigh heavy on your overall health.  How we deal with stress is what makes the difference in how we maintain our health or let the stress break us down so that we get sick. The more stress you deal with, the better your coping mechanism must be.  I have been able to work with my stress after my heart issue.  My wife, on the other hand, has had some difficulties with stress.  Since my heart attack, she has ramped up her stress levels by a factor of about ten.  We’ve decided that my house,  with all of the acres of land,  is difficult to care for.  She has decided that, if I were to suddenly kack off with an unexpected episode of sudden death, she would have quite a difficult time working the land.  So we’re selling.  After all of the bargaining, counter-offers,  building inspectors,  finding a new place, haggling with the real estate lady, just to name a few, has got my poor wife in a bundle of nerves.  Yesterday evening, the roof started leaking.  Today, the gutter guy, cleaning lady, roof guy, sheet-rock guy, and the “got junk” guy were all coming to the house.   She was running around like her hair was on fire.  She didn’t break into tears, but her voice got trembly a few times.  She was packing up stuff and the tape dispenser clogged.  She started  yelling.  “Sweetie, calm down, it isn’t that bad.”  She glared.  “How can you be so calm, this deal could all fall through, you know.”  I told her, “just take a hot shower and try to relax, if it wasn’t meant to be, then it just wasn’t meant to be.  I’m comfortable that we will eventually sell and we’ll be happy.”  She glared again and said in a voice six decibels louder and two octaves higher, “you and your Zen attitude is not making me any more comfortable.  You simply don’t understand the issues here.  I’m feeling shaky and achy.  There’s no way I can go to work tomorrow. I’ve got to stay and see this through.”

A friend sent me this happy way to manage stress.  I thought it was a little funny and strangely applicable.  Coping with stress simply means accepting that stress cannot be eliminated but can be controlled as well as the results of it in our lives.

Here are some HAPPY ways to cope with stress:

H – Have a regular break from routine work. Remember that you are not a machine. Your body needs to readjust a little once in a while. A 15 minute break for instance is really helpful for the body to reenergize and continue with the work. Do regular deep breathing or when you have time do yoga exercises. In this way, more oxygen levels circulate your body as you move. If your work gives you a break, take advantage of it.

A – Acknowledge that stress is normal in life. Being aware that stress is really bound to happen to you may make the load easier to carry. Identify the things that cause stress or simply called stressors. Once you have identified it, you are now on the way of solving to control that particular stressor.

P – Pay attention to your body. Sometimes, you body may signal hunger, sweat or need for a comfortable temperature. These are normal and helpful signs that your body is adjusting to the physical stress that you feel. Grabbing a snack or replenishing yourself with fluids can keep you going.

P – Place a time for everything. Try to keep time with work, rest, relaxation and sometimes play. Giving you body a huge variety of levels of exertion will make your body fitted to cope up with the pressures. Practice to place a specific time for everything and you’ll see that everything will just fall into its place.

Y – Yield yourself, your plans and decisions to the Almighty. Accept that with some things you simply cannot change.  He knows your strengths and weaknesses, so stop stressing yourself and let God take the burden.

.These suggestions have made my life a little bit easier and I have since led a more relaxed lower stress life.


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