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10 Stress-Relief Tips On and Off the Shift

10 Stress-Relief Tips On and Off the Shift

Scrubs Magazine

March 28, 2011

How many times have you complained about stress only to have someone make the half-hearted suggestion “Go get a massage.” Not that massages aren’t great, but who has the time?

There have to be other options out there for nurses to shake off stress! We asked experts and you, our readers, for some great ideas for beating stress, and your ideas, from a good whine to creative cocktail creations, were stellar. Here is a list of the 10 most offbeat answers!


1. Kick some butt!
Exercise is hands down one of the best ways to curb aggressive impulses when stress starts to pile up. Steal away three minutes at the nurse’s station to try this energy-burning move:

You may want to do this near a desk or wall if you fear losing your balance. Stand straight with feet a few inches apart. Slowly lift your right foot, bringing your heel to your buttocks, then slowly lower it back down. Repeat 10 to 15 times and then do the same with the other leg.

If judgmental coworkers ask what the heck you’re doing, calmly tell them: ”I’m obviously kicking butt. And yours may be next.”

2. Find a patch of grass.
Grab your best work buddy (if not someone from your unit, then perhaps the guy from housekeeping or the facilities manager), find a patch of grass and toss around a Frisbee for 10 minutes. This mildly physical activity can get your mind off the day’s pressures.

3. Do something unexpected.
Being impulsive can be a harmless antidote to a dark, brooding mood. Dawn Ferrigno, a nurse from Brooklyn, N.Y., decided to shake off a bad day with a coworker by suddenly taking the Coney Island exit one afternoon and introducing her to the first car of The Cyclone! When you have a chance, break out of your normal routine and explore something new that you otherwise wouldn’t dream of doing. Maybe it’s trying a new dessert at lunch or striking up a conversation with someone at work that you’ve never spoken to before.

4. Go grab a glass of whine.
Sneak off for five minutes to vent with a coworker. Be sure to use the code phrase to relay your rendezvous—“Let’s go grab a glass of whine”—to enhance the pleasure quotient for this special activity.

5. Scream and yell…for the home team.
If you feel you’re about to explode, take yourself to the nearest sports bar on your lunch break. There, screaming and yelling won’t seem so strange when it’s pointed at the TV and everyone else is doing the same thing!

Next: 5 Stress-Relief Tips for After Work >>

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