5 Low Cost & Relaxing Activities to Fit Your Busy Schedule

As a nurse or nurse aid, life can be crazy busy. Adding family and friend obligations on top of your job leaves little time to care for yourself. Taking just a few minutes each day to focus on yourself can leave you rejuvenated and ready to tackle the rest of your day.

1. Listen to Audiobooks –
With audiobooks, it’s possible to digest your favorite book or movie, within a few hours, and without reading or turning on the TV. This is what nurse and nurse aids with crazy schedules have been waiting for! You can listen to audiobooks on the way to your shift, while making breakfast, or even before bed. Split the chapters up by day so that you have a little relaxation time reserved each day.

There’s audiobooks available for sleep aid, letting go of stress, or even motivation. Although some audiobooks have to be paid for, there are some free ones available online.

2. Color an Adult Coloring Page –
Tapping into your inner child can be extremely beneficial to reducing stress. Adult coloring has been proven to have therapeutic effects. This is because coloring requires focus and attention to detail which distracts us from stress driven thoughts. In addition, coloring is a low stakes activity. Even if you color outside the lines, there are no repercussions. So feel free to scribble away!
There are free, online adult coloring pages that can be printed.

3. Play Some Tunes –
Listening to music is a great way to unwind. Music can connect with and affect your brain function as well as your feelings and emotion. There are tons of playlists online created to aid sleep, improve focus, or reduce stress. Do some searching online and find the best playlist that works for you.

Another way to feel good at low cost is to listen to some old favorites. Make a playlist that brings you back to the good old days. Nostalgia works wonders on the brain and heart!

4. Have a Glass of Wine –
Indulging in a little wine each night has proven health benefits. Hallelujah! In fact, a glass of red wine per night can prevent cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Red wine is also high in antioxidants which when drank with a meal, can absorb the sugars of the meal faster.
So there’s no need to feel bad about drinking a little wine each night. Cuddle up with a glass and your favorite TV show. Relax and improve your health all at once!

5. Take A Technology-Free Break –
With our busy lives, sometimes its hard to find time to completely disconnect ourselves from technology. However, even if we can just find ten or twenty minutes to spare, it can help us reduce stress. The constant notifications and distractions keep us tapped into what our friends are doing, what’s going on in the world, and our work obligations. Being constantly plugged in increases our stress and anxiety because the brain never gets a chance to relax.

Try taking a technology free break at work. Go for a walk or sit outside instead. You can even set a timer at home for twenty minutes and take that technology free time to reflect on the day.

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5 Ways to Prevent Your Nursing Staff from Burnout

Burnout is becoming more and more prevalent among nurses and nurse aids. In fact, 66% of new nurse graduates have already experienced burn out. Burnout directly impacts patient safety, satisfaction, and outcomes. It’s important to make sure you show your staff some TLC and prevent burnout before it can even begin.

1. Be Observant –
It’s rare that a nurse or nurse aid will come out and directly say, “I’m feeling burned out.” Often times, nurses are dedicated to getting a job done and providing the best care, even if they do not feel well themselves. This is why managers should be wary of the warning signs of burnout.

The biggest warning signs are low motivation and low enthusiasm. Take notes on your staff. Who has the best attendance, who picks up the most shifts, how happy does the employee seem when you talk, how eager does one seem to improve, etc.? Notes can help you track exactly who is losing motivation and enthusiasm, and why.

2. Give Your Staff a Voice –
When overseeing a large number of nurse and nurse aids, it can be difficult to keep up with each one’s thoughts and feelings. Make an extra effort to talk to your staff. Ask them meaningful questions about their overall job satisfaction. Also find out what you can do to make their job easier. Try putting a suggestions box outside your office or in the break room.

3. Recognize the Stars –
Burnout can cause from nurses and nurse aids feeling under appreciated. If an employee is going above and beyond for their patients, and you’re not recognizing it, what is his/her motivation to keep preforming at the same level?

Providing patient care can be a very demanding and sometimes distressing job. Consider implementing a rewards program for dedicated staff, or an employee of the month program. Give your employees the proper recognition they need so that they feel their hard work paying off.

4. Remind Them Why They Chose Nursing –
Sometimes a reminder of why we need healthcare professionals is rewarding. Gather some positive feedback from your residents and their families and let them shout out the nurses that have provided them with exceptional care. This shows your staff how their work is directly affecting people’s lives for the better. Make a bulletin board that your employees can pin anything to that depicts why they chose to be a healthcare professional.

5. Utilize Supplemental Staffing –
Sometimes facilities experience a peak in their census due to flu season, virus outbreak, etc. Nurse attendance can also fluctuate due to holidays, weekends, and vacations. No matter what, patients require care 24/7/365. These fluctuations can cause nurse and nurse aids to become overworked and burned out. This leads to lower quality patient care and lower quality patient outcomes.

Supplemental nurse staffing can be extremely beneficial for facilities during these peaks and valleys. Having an extra set of hands can put your current staff at a peace of mind. Certainly your nurse and nurse aids won’t have to scramble to give everyone the care they need. Therefore your residents will get the full attention required to prevent future health issues and to speed up recovery.

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