Dealing with Stress

Three Ways Nursing Students Can Better Cope with Stress

Now that spring break has come and gone for most college students, many are left with a hectic final few weeks of finals and papers before their semesters are complete. This could be a stressful time for some, especially those who are enrolled in nursing programs. Nursing students come from all walks of life. Some have known they wanted to be nurses all of their lives and enrolled in a program right out of high school. Others are women and men who have served a different role - from being a parent to working in an office - and now want the opportunity to do something else. All have one thing in common: a desire to help people.

Given this, the stress that comes with completing a nursing program is natural. You not only have to worry about passing all licensing exams and coursework; you have to do so knowing that an individual's life can hang in the balance if you don't learn and retain the information you're exposed to in the classroom. A history major may fret over a test, but can at least rest assured that not knowing a General in the capture of Fort Ticonderoga will not have dire consequences. Therefore, nursing students must take extra care to ensure they are taking care of themselves as they go through the program.

Ways to Relieve the Stress

Eat a healthy diet: Comfort foods might momentarily taste good, but eating too much of them will ultimately cost you energy and make you feel worse. Fruits, veggies, and whole grains can help provide the energy you need to continue your studies and also aid in stabilizing your mood.

Get Enough Sleep Every Night: Burning the midnight oil may not be the best idea to get more done. An all-nighter may give you more time to do things, but it can affect your performance and ability to retain information for several days after. Instead, be sure to get at least seven hours of sleep every night to ensure you're at your best during your waking hours. Sleep depravity can have various effects on the body, including higher levels of stress.

Stay Organized: Have a daily plan of attack, so you know what needs to be done that day. Using a day-by-day planning strategy will help you stay focused and not worry about the big exams and projects that may appear impossible to do at this point. If you have ever seen a football press conference, the coach usually makes a point to say that the team is focused on their opponent this week and not on making it to the playoffs or winning the Super Bowl. The same idea applies here.

And remember, be sure to schedule some time in your daily plan for leisure time. Doing things for yourself can help you recharge your batteries and stay positive as you focus on getting that degree and getting into a field you'll love.