Self-Care: 7 Tips for Reducing Stress during Uncertain Times

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Life as a nursing student can be stressful in the best of times. Demanding course loads, juggling clinicals and class time with family life and other work takes a lot of energy. Being a nursing student during the COVID-19 pandemic is even more stressful, filled with a patchwork of lockdowns, quarantines or shelter-in-place orders. On top of digital courses, lots of nursing students are also trying to homeschool their own children and care for others. There’s also the need to continue preparing for the NCLEX Exam, even as what to expect with testing continues to evolve.

With so much uncertainty in the world right now, it’s easy to feel the impacts of stress. Anxiety, depression, and even a depleted immune system can happen when too much stress builds up.

We recently hosted a webinar with Dr. Cynthia Clark to provide some clarity during this time. Here are some tips she shared to help you manage it all.

Take care of yourself and your loved ones: Follow guidelines for social distancing and hand hygiene; get adequate sleep, exercise and nutrition; get outdoors when you have some time (and bring your pet, too!)

Create structure and routine: Setting times to eat, shower, study, exercise and other daily necessities can help you focus and accomplish your goals. For those with kids, giving them structure for their days helps them feel better too.

Related Read: 8 Characteristics of a Successful Online Student

Express gratitude: Science backs the idea that keeping track of things we’re grateful for helps us be more resilient during stressful periods, so try keeping a journal on hand to write down things that keep you going.

Stay connected: Schedule phone calls or video coffee breaks with your friends or virtual volunteering to see what you might do to help.

Avoid being too plugged-in: Turn off your devices for a while each day to get a break from the onslaught of news.

Take a deep breath: Patience and kindness will get us through this, so take a  deep breath and model good actions for others around you.

Reach out for help: Your mental and emotional health is important. Reach out to a counselor at your college or university for help when you need it. Practicing social distancing doesn’t mean you have to get through this alone.

While this nursing school experience is surely not what you had in mind, we are here to support you and your classmates. Be sure to follow ATI Nursing on Facebook for our most recent articles, resources, NCLEX prep tips and more.

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