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On International Nurses Day we find out how they manage stress

To acknowledge the contributions and commitments of the nurses, the World Health Organisation announced 2020 as the "Year of Nurses and Midwives".

With limited sleeping hours, extra responsibilities, and added pressure, the nurses have been on toes ever since the pandemic broke. They are at the forefront and working relentlessly under pressure, fear, exhaustion, isolation, and emotional trauma. The stress and fatigue is bound to impact mental health, safety, and ability to provide the best possible care.

On this International Nurses Day, IANSlife spoke to Usha Banerjee, Group Director of Nursing at Indraprastha Apollo Hospital shares some tips to ensure mental and physical well-being of the nurses.

Acknowledging stress

- To understand stress better it is important to acknowledge that one is experiencing stress, anxiety, and grief. It helps build will power and endurance

- Exercise self-compassion and recognise that almost everyone impacted by an emergency will experience psychological distress. These reactions are by no means an indication of weakness

- Understand that anyone helping during this time is susceptible to excessive stress and trauma, as a nurse, you are also vulnerable to secondary traumatic stress

- Know that you may also experience moral distress as you have to make difficult decisions pertaining to your personal and professional lives

Ensure well being

- Practice breathing exercises

- Eat regularly scheduled meals and avoid foods that increase inflammation in the body

- Try a mind-body practice like mindfulness or yoga

- Talk to family and close ones about your feelings of any kind of distress

Take Time for Your Mental Health

- Create ongoing supportive connections with colleagues who can validate and normalise your stressful experiences

- Schedule time for self-care, such as talking with a friend or meditating

- Seek out a trained mental health professional to help ensure that you are acknowledging your extreme stress

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