The American Nurses Association (ANA) has designated 2017 as the Year of the Healthy Nurse. Each month focuses on a different wellness and safety topics with various organizational partners. April's topic is combating stress. Click here for more information on the ANA website, Christine Wilson, MSN, RN-BC:
As you may know, the American Nurses Association (ANA) has proclaimed April as the month of combating stress. When we think of the word “combat,” we usually picture ourselves in battle, fighting and resisting. While this is one approach to dealing with stress, I encourage you to consider working to manage your stress, rather than fighting it. Especially today, as we face a vast degree of uncertainty and new challenges within healthcare as well as our own lives, stress is abundant. Managing stress lets us harness the energy that stress creates, allowing us to channel it into a positive force.
Stress in and of itself is not a bad thing—without stress, there would be no push for change. Stepping outside of our comfort zones, whether personally or professionally, can be a first step toward growth and new opportunity.
As NPD practitioners, we have the opportunity to play a significant role in the support of organizational health. To successfully perform in our roles, we need to recognize and manage our own stresses so that we can effectively focus on the needs of the nurses and other individuals in our organization who we serve every day.
Just as different circumstances cause stress for different people, people manage stress in a variety of ways. When stressed, some people enjoy taking time to be alone; others find solace in spirituality or surrounding themselves with friends and family; some turn to yoga while others opt to run many miles. There is no single best way to manage stress, but it is imperative that we find healthy options that work for ourselves.
Some of the ways I manage stress are by taking a vigorous walk outdoors, enjoying time with family and friends, listening to music, puttering in my yard, or relaxing with a good book. I also enjoy a variety of other types of reading such as Tamnay Vora’s blog, which features inspirational thoughts on leadership, teamwork, management, and success.
As we conclude the month of combating stress, I encourage you not to lose sight of this concept. Recognize the things in your life that induce stress; consider how you currently manage these stressors; foster this information and revisit it every few months to see how you are coping. Invest some time in caring for yourself. We will all be thankful you did!
Chris Wilson, MSN, RN-BC