5 Easy Ways to Avoid Burnout
November 10, 2010
1. Remind Yourself Why You Became a Nurse
One of the most important things I learned in school, and have since been reminded of in the nursing literature, is to write down special moments. My instructor suggested keeping a small notebook in your pocket, one of those little spiral ones. Whenever we had a moment that really said it all as far as why we became a nurse, we should jot down notes. Then tear out that sheet and put it in a box. Then if we had a particularly bad day or were feeling burned out, we should open that box and read the notes to help inspire us to “return to battle.”
2. Use a Journal
I have since read about another way to accomplish the same thing. Have a journal next to your bed, and before going to sleep, write in your journal about your best moments that day. If you need help starting a journal, here’s some advice from About.com’s Stress Management Guide, Elizabeth Scott.
3. Celebrate Nursing
I have designed a special Keepsake Box and Journal at Cafe Press just for this purpose. Or find one for yourself that represents something special just to you. Treat yourself or a special nurse in your life with a way to help him/her/you celebrate nursing and always remember why he/she/you became a nurse.
4. Confidentiality Issues
Always be mindful of HIPAA and other confidentiality issues and don’t write something that identifies the patient to others should someone else read your notes or journal.
5. Reduce Stress
Take care of yourself. Eat right, drink plenty of healthy liquids (water, juices, etc.) exercise regularly and sleep (6-8 hours a day minimum) at regular intervals. Enjoy your family, engage in hobbies. Do things that are important to you. Practice stress relief measures.