New Graduate Nurses – Top Tips for Overcoming Anxiety
“The trained nurse has become one of the great blessings of humanity, taking place beside the physician and the priest…”
- William Osler
The first year is always the toughest one for every new nurse. The feeling of being overwhelmed while treating a new patient, or the anxiety about your career – you are continually having ‘what ifs’ in your mind. For a nurse, it’s all very normal to feel this way in the beginning.
Here are some great tips to help you get over anxiety and gain confidence in your role as a nurse.
01 – Protect Your Mental Space
First and foremost, never take the stress of your workplace to your home. It is very easy to come home depleted and depressed after having a long day at work. But if you want to have good mental health, you are requested to protect your mental space.
Don’t browse pictures on social media that make you feel left out or remind you of a bad experience at work. Be specific about what you allow your emotional headspace. It is essential for your wellbeing both as a human and nurse. Also, it’s great for your family, friends, and co-workers.
02 – Learn to Say ‘No’
As a new nurse, you may want to volunteer yourself to be noticed as a team player. But the first year as a new nurse is the crucial year for your career, you will learn new concepts, so you need to stay focused at work.
Working extra shifts will reduce your mental energy, and you wouldn’t be able to perform well during your regular shifts. Therefore, this is not the perfect time to research grad schools or join committees because it will only make you feel even more stressed and anxious.
03 – Take Care of Your Body
Of course, your physical health is as important as your mental health. So, always make sure to take care of yourself. These 12 hours shifts are exhausting, and you need to make it through the whole week without getting sick. Following are the things that you need to take care of every day:
- Wear comfortable and right clothes
- Get enough sleep
- Practice good hygiene
- Exercise, even if it’s only for 15 minutes
- Drink plenty of water
- Eat healthily
04 – Be Honest About What You Don’t Know
You don’t have to show that you always know everything. It’s okay not to know about every disease or treatment as a new nurse. So, don’t act like you know something that you don’t. Ask for help to learn about things you are unaware of, it is really important to keep yourself and your patient safe.
Most importantly, never compare your beginning with somebody else’s middle. Every experienced and successful nurse today has been to the point where you are. So, keep in mind that we all have been up there. The only way to achieve success is to allow yourself to keep learning and keep your emotions in control.