As human beings, we respond differently to events or definite moments in our lives. There’s that feeling of happiness over a job promotion and then there’s that feeling of disappointment over messing up on a project you have been working on for a long time. We get excited when there’s a huge opportunity coming our way, but we may also get anxious about it because of the uncertainty of the unknown. While anxiety is a normal reaction, it may also paralyze you and could affect the way you see things.
Studies suggest that nursing students in the clinical setting definitely experience a high level of stress and anxiety. In fact, some studies reveal that the level of stress they encounter is much higher than other health sciences and because of this, their academic performance would often suffer. There is no doubt that college students face a different kind of stress in a different kind of world we’re living in right now. Incoming nursing students must recognize why they feel anxious so they can also understand that there are steps to manage it.
Here are simple actions incoming nursing students can do to alleviate stress and anxiety.
Take a Step Back
We all need to decompress and take our mind off of things stresses us out. Do something you enjoy like listening to music, watching your comfort movie or series, working out, or simply any activity that will distract you from dwelling too much on what gives you anxiety. Have a list of your favorite activities and try to do them one by one if you can.
Limit Your Caffeine Intake
I know, I know – this one is hard to do, but caffeine actually aggravates anxiety and several studies have shown that it could trigger anxiety attacks. Caffeine consumption of 400 mg at once may cause a feeling of overstimulation and could bring symptoms such as nausea and heart palpitations.
Get a Healthy Sleeping Pattern
Sleep deprivation negatively affects a person’s overall mental health. It can cause mood swings, anxiety, and difficulty being present. Getting adequate sleep helps you to feel calmer and have better brain function. Try to set a consistent sleep schedule by going to bed at the same time and waking up at the same time the next day. While it may be different for everyone, but using your bedroom for sleep only and not to do some work also helps in getting enough sleep.
Communicate with Someone You Trust Having a strong support system gives you a sense of belonging. In order to flourish in any area we are striving for, we need to have people by our side that we can rely on – that could aid in reducing the stress that we are currently experiencing. Venting or ranting out our fears, worries, and frustrations to a close friend or family member is one of the best ways to reduce anxiety. As an incoming nursing student, it is important to feel that you are not alone in this journey especially during these crazy times