Want to avoid burnout?
Meditation is the practice of focused attention and mindfulness that has proven to have a major impact on the mental health of nurses and other care workers.
- Better Sleep. Nurses work long hours, and their schedules are not always consistent. Throw in demands at home and/or continuing education and it’s difficult for most nurses to maintain a regular sleep schedule. This can affect everything from the immune system to mental health…and lead to burnout. Lack of good sleep destabilizes the sympathetic nervous system, leading to restlessness, irritability, mood swings, and – you guessed it – more poor sleep. Meditation helps break the cycle and calms the sympathetic nervous system, lowering stress and anxiety, and helping you rest better.
- Physical energy and mental clarity. The physical demands of nursing plus the lack of break and recovery time gives the body and mind no time to rest and restore. This makes it easy to lose sight of your “why” and lose the joy and meaning in your work. The natural next step is resentment and diminished performance. Meditation helps relieve stress in the body and restores mental clarity. By busting through negative thought patterns and taking space from the mental chatter, you can get back in touch with yourself and your goals.
- Pain relief. Nursing can hurt sometimes: sore feet, aching back, creaky knees and more. Pain makes it difficult for anyone to function, let alone a nurse who is constantly on call to help others. Meditation lowers tension in the body that can sometimes exacerbate pain, and deep breathing helps muscles loosen and relax. This can also improve blood flow and reduce cramping or muscle aches.
- More calm. Dealing with people can be frustrating, especially in a hospital setting. Whether it be demanding patients, gossipy coworkers, troubling administrators, or stress from home, stress and tension can build up quickly. Meditation and mindfulness helps you learn how to witness instead of engage, and to let go of negative energy that isn’t serving you.