20 Ways to Manage Stress as a CNA

The idea of becoming a CNA is enticing for many people because it seems like an easy profession. From television, movies and books there always seems to be one obvious solution in medicine that nurses simply provide while doctors do the real work. Although nursing school isn’t exactly hard, it does take time to learn what you need to know. But once you become a CNA there’s a lot more to it than just handing out medication and helping the doctors.

CNAs are under a lot of stress. They have to deal with a high-pressure, high-stakes job that can often be thankless and they work long hours that often take their toll on them physically and emotionally. This blog post provides 20 tips for how CNAs can combat the effects of stress in their work.

1. Take Care Of Yourself

We can’t put our lives on hold until things get better for nurses and taking care of yourself means not making excuses to take breaks or eat well or exercise; it’s about treating your body like the machine that it is, especially if you’re always on call. Being healthy doesn’t just mean physically but also mentally because what goes on in your head affects how you feel every day and how you handle stress.

  • Exercise Every Day
  • Eat Healthy and Get Enough Sleep
  • Take Time for Yourself and Prioritize Your Happiness
  • Spend time with Friends and Family You Trust

2. Realize That You’re Not Alone

Nurses often feel like they are the only ones having a hard time at work or that there’s something wrong with them because they’re not handling stress well. The truth is that everyone has problems and feelings about their job sometimes, even doctors (although you never hear about it). It’s important for nurses to understand that other people in the industry are experiencing similar issues and ask for help when they need it. Sometimes talking to someone can make all the difference when you think things are insurmountable.

  • Speak to a Trusted Mentor or Colleague
  • Join a Support Group Online or in Person
  • Reach Out to Friends and Family You Trust
  • Read Personal Stories on Forums or Blogs

3. Find Ways to Stay Sane at Work

Some nurses find it hard to stay sane when they work long hours, don’t get breaks when they need them, are overworked and undervalued by doctors, etc. The key is finding little ways to cope with these issues so they don’t feel like the only thing you can do is leave your job completely. How you handle your stress depends on your personality but here are some small tips that may help everyone:

  • Take Small Breaks When You Can Get Them
  • Carry a Handkerchief or Tissues Around With You
  • Learn to Say “No” and Set Boundaries with Doctors and Patients
  • Take Your Lunch Break When You Can
  • Wear Comfortable Clothing That’s Easy to Take On and Off (i.e, scrubs)

4. Don’t Let Stress Get To You

The last and most important thing nurses need to remember is that stress isn’t something they can keep bottled up or ignore altogether because it will definitely come back to bite them in the end. If you feel like you’re having a particularly bad day, make sure you tell someone about it so they can help get things back on track and if your shift ends up being too much for you then don’t be afraid to ask for some help from your manager or request an extra day off where you can recharge and get yourself back together before jumping into work again.

  • Don’t Ignore Stress Before It Becomes A Bigger Problem
  • Find Ways to Cope With the Stress of Being a Nurse So You’re Healthier and Happier in The End
  • Work On Your Physical and Mental Health To Be The Best Nurse You Can Be

5. Remain Positive

It’s important that nurses remain positive, both at work and in their personal lives. Sometimes we forget that we’re responsible for our own happiness and create obstacles even when there isn’t any real problem (like making mountains out of molehills). It’s also important to not dwell on negative things because it will make everything else seem negative as well, which can lead to a downward spiral of negativity. Try focusing on the good things in your life such as what you like about your job or what you enjoy doing off duty. If you need help, go over the reasons why being a nurse is wonderful so you’ll have something positive to think about when times are tough.

  • Remind Yourself How Gratifying it is to Be a Nurse
  • Practice Positive Self-Talk
  • Do Something You Enjoy

6. Make A Plan To Deal With Stress

It’s easier said than done but nurses need to realize that stress doesn’t just go away on its own; ignoring it will only make matters worse. Stress can be like cancer; it needs to be caught early or else you risk not being able to do anything about it.

Small things like taking a second to pause before reacting, taking deep breaths between patients and making sure you have time alone after work are small steps that nurses should take to make sure they don’t let stress take control of their lives while on the job or at home. Nurses need to realize that every little thing matters in order for them not to engage in destructive behaviors. It takes hard work but planning ahead can ensure better health for nurses regardless of age, experience level or other factors.

  • Make a List of All the Activities that Make You Happy
  • Do Something Relaxing Every Day, Even if it’s As Simple as Drinking Tea or Taking a Bath
  • Take Care of Your Body by Eating Right and Exercising Regularly

7. Healthy Living

Stress can come from anywhere and usually nurses aren’t doing enough to combat this problem. It’s not always easy but it is very necessary for nurses to make sure that they are eating well, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and having an outlet outside of work so they can rest their mind someplace other than the workplace. Working out doesn’t mean you need to spend hours at the gym; try something simple like taking a walk near your home or some other activity that isn’t strenuous on the body but helps release endorphins into your system which will leave you feeling more relaxed. Stress makes people do things that they wouldn’t normally do if they were calm and balanced so staying on top of these small issues means a happier, healthier nurse.

  • Limit Your Alcohol Intake
  • Eat Right and Try to Cook at Home Whenever You Can
  • Exercise Regularly, Even if it’s Just a Quick Walk
  • Get a Good Night’s Rest, Eight Hours Will Do the Trick

8. Remember To Laugh

It’s hard to laugh when you’re at work and covering all these issues that need to be taken care of but it is necessary for nurses to find time to laugh every day. If they don’t, the stress will start piling up and before they know it they’ll be working too much and burning out quickly because their body was never able to relax at any point during the day or night. It might not sound like a big deal but having a good laugh every once in a while can make all the difference between someone who is feeling on top of the world and ready for anything and someone who is totally miserable and running on empty.

  • Try To Find the Humor in Situation
  • Watch a Comedy Show or Read Your Favorite Joke Book

9. Minimize Your Stressors

This is a bit easier said than done because stress doesn’t just come from outside the nurse’s control. Sometimes it comes from having too much work or being put in difficult positions that they have to do their best to get out of. It is important for nurses to not take on extra work unless they can handle it and to voice these issues so they don’t suffer the consequences down the line. There are many others who will be more than willing to help so don’t keep quiet about issues you’re having with your workload because it’ll only lead to resentment later on when you find out that someone else took your shift or helped cover part of your load while you were absent.

  • Make a List of All the Issues You are Having
  • Know Your Limits and Only Accept More Work if You Feel You can Handle it
  • Never Be Afraid to Speak Up for Yourself or Ask Questions If you Don’t Understand Something

10. Reward Yourself For A Job Well Done

Everyone wants praise but sometimes this isn’t easy to come by. Nurses need to realize that their hard work shouldn’t go unnoticed and that taking the time out of your day to acknowledge someone’s effort is a great way for them to stay motivated while still on the clock. If you notice that one of your nurses did something really awesome, make sure they know about it because this will motivate them even more in the future. It might seem small but it all adds up over time and can make a huge difference when nurses are trying to get through a particularly tough shift without turning sour due to stress.

  • Praise your Nurses for their Efforts
  • Give Compliments when You Feel They are Due
  • Plan a Small Treat After a Big Win

11. Relax On Your Break Time

Taking breaks away from work is not only important for your health but also for getting back into work and rejuvenated so you aren’t burnt out before your shift is even halfway done. Staying busy all day without any time to relax means you’ll be exhausted by the end of your shift and probably thinking about calling in sick because there isn’t enough left in you to make it through another 8 hours. It’s important for nurses to stop worrying about work every single second they’re not at work because this can become exhausting very quickly and will lead them down a road that no one wants to go on.

  • Take 10-15 Minutes whenever You Have the Chance
  • Stretch, Breathe, Meditate or Do Whatever it is that Works for You
  • Enjoy a Healthy, Relaxing Meal while Taking in some Vitamin D

12. Keep Your Personal Life Separate From Professional Life

Nurses have a really hard job and it can be easy to take problems from your personal life home with you as a result. This isn’t healthy for anyone involved as nurses will start to lose their health, patience, and ability to separate the two so they don’t take things out on others at work or have an emotional breakdown in front of patients which can put them even more at risk. It’s important that nurses try their best to stay as emotionally and physically well as possible so they can take care of those around them without taking too much out on them in the process.

  • Don’t Bring Your Personal Life Home with You
  • Make Sure you Spend Time Away from Work to Relax
  • Slow Down and Take a Break When You Feel Overwhelmed

13. Find A New Hobbies To Relieve Stress

Hobbies are another great way for nurses to relax and stay on top of things even though it’s easy for them to feel bogged down by the weight of all the issues they need to take care of in a short amount of time. Taking up a hobby like painting, playing an instrument or doing yoga will not only help increase their happiness but it’ll also ease some of the stress and tension that might be happening in their everyday life and make them far less likely to snap at their colleagues.

  • Start A New Hobby Like Painting Or Yoga
  • Find Ways to Relax At Home and Enjoy Your Free Time
  • Take On a Few Side Projects That You Can Work on in Your Spare Time

14. Keep Track Of Your Changing Moods

It’s easy for nurses to forget what they need to do when it comes to staying healthy because they’re so busy taking care of everyone else but themselves but the reality is that if they want to become happier and healthier then it’s going to take some time and effort on their end. Keeping track of your moods is a great idea because you’ll find out which triggers lead you up the wall and which ones can help keep things together when everything seems like its falling apart around you. Try writing down what makes your happy or sad every single day so its easier to see where to start working on your own happiness.

  • Find Triggers that Make You Unhappy and Avoid Them
  • Look for Triggers that Make You Happy and Do them More Often
  • Keep Track of Your Emotions on a Daily Basis to Learn How to Better Control Them

15. Get Personal Trainers To Help With Fitness And Healthy Eating

It’s not easy for nurses to find the time to workout when even getting in enough sleep is considered a luxury but spending time at the gym or working out in your own home is one of the best ways to maintain good mental health throughout their career because staying fit will bring them relief that transcends into every area of life. Eating healthier isn’t just important for losing weight but it also helps improve your moods which are two things that are crucial for becoming happier and healthier through your career as a nurse.

  • Visit Different Gyms and Health Clubs In Your Area
  • Take a Look at the Types of Classes They Offer at These Health Clubs
  • Contact Personal Trainers or Nutritionists to Come Up with a Plan

16. Find A Good Lifestyle Coach For Motivation

Having someone who can motivate you when times get tough might seem unnecessary but being able to get someone who will help you get back on track when you feel like nothing can save you is one of the best ways to take care of your mental health and happiness while working as a nurse. Going to the gym might not seem like something that seems important but it’s one of those small things that makes all the difference in how happy and healthy you are during your career as a nurse.

  • Contact a Lifestyle Coach in Your Area

17. Talk About The Issues That Are Piling Up

One of the worst things a nurse could do when they’re under stress is keep their thoughts and feelings inside because it leads to no one knowing what’s going on which makes it harder for everyone else to understand what they need from them. Getting everything out in the will allow everyone around them to help you from letting your stress from work from spilling over into other areas of life. This is why it’s important to have a healthy relationship with those who are close to you because its the best way for everyone to understand what they need from them when times get tough as a nurse.

  • Talk To a Loved One About The Issues You’re Dealing With At Work
  • Find Support from Those Around You

18. Take Care Of Your Relationships Outside Work

A lot of nurses can get overly involved with work or find themselves so wrapped up in what’s going on at home that they forget how necessary it is to keep their relationships strong outside of the workplace so they don’t have to deal with added stress when they go home after work. The last thing a nurse should do is let their health suffer because of something that can easily be fixed by spending time with friends or family who love them no matter what.

  • Take the Time to See Your Friends and Family
  • Make A Date With your Significant Other To Go Out On The Town
  • Keep in Touch With Old Friends you Haven’t Talked to In a While

19. Talk To Doctors And Other Health Professionals About Your Stress Levels

There are times when the only person who will be able to help you with stress is someone more experienced than you so don’t be afraid to ask for help from doctors and other health professionals if necessary. Nurses need to understand that it’s okay not to know everything because having problems at work doesn’t make them an incompetent nurse whose career should just end there.

20. Don’t Let One Bad Day Ruin Everything

One bad day doesn’t define you as a person and it shouldn’t define your career either. No matter how hard things get for nurses it’s important not to let one bad day or week affect everything else because there are people who care about you and would want you to continue having great experiences at work regardless of what happens.

  • Take Time For Yourself To Refocus
  • Find Ways to Unwind and Relax

It’s not easy being a nurse in today’s world but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth doing. All nurses have to do is remember that they’re never alone when things get tough and if one approach doesn’t work then don’t be afraid to try something new until you find what works for you.