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Posted about 1 year ago
You might care for patients directly; watching monitors, hanging fluids, administering medications, speaking with family, and coordinating discharge plans- all at the same time! Or you might be a nurse in administration or education; coordinating meetings, creating lesson plans, following up with staffing issues. No matter what role you find yourself in, as a nurse, you are busy!
This “busyness” comes with a price; a cost to our health the busier we get. While there are physical signs of stress, sometimes mental strains are more bothersome. This is what’s been going on with me. My mind cannot stop. There’s constant chatter; did I get everything done? Did I miss something? Am I doing it all? Where’s my “to-do” list? What do I work on next? It goes on and on even, unfortunately, when we lie down to rest.
So what can we do to let some of this mind overload go? While there are many tools we can use to lighten the burden of our thoughts, there is one specific strategy I want to share today: journaling.
Journaling is a great form of “mind dump,” so to speak. It is a wonderful way to get thoughts out of the head and onto the page. What are some specific forms of journaling that you can try?
3.Unsent letters. This is a strategy Kathleen Adams shares in her book, Journal to the Self. Think about all of the things you would like to say to someone, but never could, would, or have. This tool is wonderful as you do not have to censor your writing because the point of it is that no one will ever see it! You are writing a letter to someone and getting all of those thoughts and emotions about them out of your head and onto the paper.
So whatever tool you decide upon, these are only three examples of many. Try to spend 10 minutes out of your day writing out your thoughts. If you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and busy then journaling is something that can help you get your thoughts out of your head and onto the paper. No one has to see it. Let it be a place for you to work through things, get ideas, tap into creativity, and learn more about yourself. Journaling is a great stress reducer for any busy nurse. It is cost effective and doesn’t take a lot of time!