- 25 February 2021
- 10 min read
How To Avoid Burnout And Maintain Your Wellbeing As A Student NurseSubscribe To Advice
In this video Student Nurse, Alex, suggests how Student Nurses can avoid getting bogged down by the combined stress of learning, practice and being on placement.
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Hi guys. Today's video is gonna be about how to avoid burnout and how to maintain your wellbeing as a Student Nurse, which can be quite difficult.
Especially within the times that we're in right now, you're having to kind of avoid burnout and maintain your wellbeing both in practice, on placement, and also in this new environment of learning from home and like remote learning.
Because even though you're not physically doing anything, you're kind of sitting down all day.
It's tiring and it can be quite draining like mentally.
So my first few tips are going to be about avoiding burnout. And my second set of tips is going to be about maintaining your wellbeing.
Get Good Rest
So my first tip for avoiding burnout is probably the obvious is to try and get a good night's sleep.
This can be hard especially if you're on placement and you're going from nights to days and your sleeping pattern is a bit messed up or maybe you have young kids at home and you have to study at weird times or you just don't get a good night's sleep anyway.
Or just because, you know, you're at home and by the time you've finished all your work or you've finished your shift you kind of just want to stay up all night and watch Netflix.
Trust me, I've been there.
Like it's not that hard fall into that routine.
As much as you can try to at least get like six to eight hours preferably, you know, the more the better.
The more sleep you get obviously, the brighter you'll feel, the more energy you will have and that's going to contribute a lot to kind of reducing the risk of you feeling burnout or experiencing burnout.
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You need to take breaks, regular breaks, whether that's within one day, within a week or a month because sometimes following such a strict schedule particularly if you're doing remote learning and doing these back-to-back videos, watching recorded lectures, going to live lectures, it is a lot.
And it's a lot to just stare at a screen all day and it's tiring and it is exhausting, even though you're just sitting down.
You just need to listen to your body and this goes for if you're on placement as well.
If you really do feel tired and you don't feel good in yourself whether that's physically or mentally, take a break.
If that means you have to take a day off or reschedule a shift, if that means putting aside watching a pre-recorded lecture and leaving it till the next day or the next week, do it.
Like it's not going to kill you to do it but it's going to really be detrimental to your physical and mental health if you don't do it, if you don't take breaks.Fair enough, you're being productive but you're, are you really gonna retain the information or is it really going to make you feel better inside?
If you feel like your brain can't do any more work, you feel like your body can't do any more work, listen to it and just take a break because it will do wonders.
Discuss Rearranging Shifts
My third point is kind of related to placement. If you need to rearrange your shifts then do it.
If you get given your roster and it's jam packed with like back to back to back shifts and like a combination of days and nights in one week, if you can't cope with that, fair enough you can't change around your whole roster cause that's taking them in.
But like the odd shift, if you need to rearrange it or postpone it and you're able to do that, then do it because having that extra day off or having a gap between two or three shifts will make all the difference in just giving yourself time to rest, giving yourself time to kind of focus on yourself and focus on your own wellbeing.
That is really important and that is something that might be beneficial to you.
If you're like me and you don't like to be absent, you don't like to miss out on things, it doesn't necessarily mean you have to miss out because you can reschedule.
But if you really don't feel well and you really need a break whether that's physically or mentally, then you need, you do need to take a break.
Obviously hours are important and attendance is important for both sides of uni, both practical and theoretical but you just need to put yourself first and you need to put yourself, your health first because as I've said in multiple videos before, you can't look after other people if you're not looking after yourself.
So you have to prioritize your own wellbeing and your own mental and physical health.
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Take Leave If You Need It
And my last point for avoiding burnout is kind of what I've, related to what I said earlier is to take leave if you need it and to postpone tasks.
If things get really bad for you then it is okay to kind of apply for an extension or to defer an assignment or to take some time off placement or even to take some time out of the course if things are really bad.
Or if you have any family problems or other sorts of problems at home, it's okay. Like it doesn't make you a failure to not do things the traditional way.
So definitely keep that in mind.
Moving on to the maintaining wellbeing side of things, it is so, so, so, so paramount to practice self-care.
That could be in any sort of form, whether it's your skincare routine, having a bath, reading a book, watching Netflix, anything that makes you feel good, do it.
I would say every day to be honest, even if that's just like simple things like washing your hair, putting on a face mask like, things like that that don't take that much time out of your day but they still kind of make you feel good and they do not like, it's just something to make you feel nice.
Obviously, a lot of kind of self-care things that we may normally do like maybe going to a spa or getting your nails done.
Getting your hair done, things like that we obviously can't do now in lockdown but there's things, so many things you can do at home to kind of practice self-care. So definitely do that.
Diet And Exercise
As well as having a good sleep, make sure that your diet is healthy and that you're eating healthily, you're eating regularly. You're not missing meals.
And exercising as well, you need to make your body feel good.
You need to release some dopamine, you need to release some serotonin, you need to kind of get your body going.
Even if you have no motivation to kind of make a healthy meal or to do a workout, once you do it you always feel so much better.
So to try and kind of motivate yourself to do things like that and that will just make you feel so much better.
Also, kind of factoring into self-care, just do what you enjoy. I think when you get so busy with like a university course or your day job or anything, it can be really easy to neglect the things that you used to do before.
Find Other Activities
So for example, if that's like writing or playing an instrument or singing or dancing or whatever it is, don't neglect your hobbies because those are the things that ultimately make you feel better.
So separating work from things that you enjoy gives you a bit of an escape and allows you to kind of separate yourself from your stress and give you some time to relax.
It’s Good To Share - Talk With Someone About How You Feel
And lastly, my last kind of two points are about talking.
So if you feel like things are getting really bad for you whether you feel overwhelmed by your course, you feel overwhelmed for whatever reason or whatever's going on in your life, you feel overwhelmed with just the pandemic or anything else, make sure you talk to someone.
Is so important to just tell people how you're feeling, because we're not mind readers.
You can never really get mad at someone for noticing that something's not right with you because people are good actors.
Some people who are really, really struggling can act like nothing is wrong.
So if you have a problem just make sure you speak to someone whether that be within the uni, in your placement area, your significant other, your friends, your family, anyone, then just please just talk because it's just a nice way to kind of get your feelings out and a good way to get advice.
And also don't be afraid to speak to people externally as well.
If you feel like you need some sort of therapy or counselling because of whatever you're going through, it's not a shameful thing to get help.
It does work. It's not weird. It doesn't make you crazy.
I think there's so much stigma around kind of reaching out to kind of mental health services or speaking to people, going to therapy, counselling.
Honestly, it might be the best decision you make if things are really hard and if nothing else is working and you need guidance in how to change your life and how to cope with things.
As I say, it's not an embarrassing thing. It's not a shameful thing. It does work and it might be the best thing for you.
So just keep an open mind on how to kind of improve your lifestyle and how to kind of make yourself feel better and how to improve your wellbeing.
And hopefully things will get better if you are struggling.
I think those are all my points. I hope that video gave you guys some tips of things to try if you didn't know about them already.
I hope you enjoyed the video.