8 Strategies for Warding Off Stress as a Certified Nursing Assistant
Due to the long hours they put in and the nature of their work, Certified Nursing Assistants, or CNAs, are susceptible to becoming stressed out. High stress levels negatively impact your performance as a Certified Nursing Assistant, though, so it's crucial to find ways to fight back. By taking the right steps and adopting the right habits, you can ward off stress in most situations. Learn the best ways to do so to excel in your role as a CNA.
Top Eight Strategies for Warding Off Stress as a CNA
Keep these pointers in mind to keep stress at bay as a CNA:
- Lead a Healthy Lifestyle - If you don't already, make sure to get plenty of exercise and to eat properly. A healthy diet helps keep you strong and feeling good, and exercise is one of the best ways to relieve and ward off stress.
- Get Enough Sleep - Even the most minor things can seem overwhelming when you're operating on very little sleep. Busy though you may be, make sure to get at least eight solid hours of sleep every night.
- Communicate Effectively - Be clear in your dealings with others, including patients and colleagues. Direct, simple communication is the best way to go. When everyone is on the same page, issues are less likely to arise. The fewer problems you have to deal with, the lower your overall stress levels will be.
- Stay Organized - Being unable to find what you need is one of the most stressful things that can happen as a CNA. It leads to frustration, which can spiral into feelings of aggravation and even anger. This stressful issue can largely be avoided by simply being organized, so take steps to keep your workspace in order and to map out your day for maximum efficiency.
- Acknowledge Your Feelings - As a CNA, you spend your days being compassionate toward others. What about yourself? When you're feeling down, stressed, angry, or any other emotion, don't push those feelings aside. Acknowledge them. Otherwise, they will bottle up inside you and slowly, but surely increase your stress levels.
- Talk it Out - Know where to turn when you need to vent. If you have a friend who works in the healthcare field, call them up to express your frustrations when they become too overwhelming. Another option is to sign up for therapy, which can be immensely helpful when it comes to talking through work-related stress issues.
- Keep a Journal - So many little things can happen in the course of a single day. You may not be able to talk them all out with another person, so try jotting them down in a journal instead. It's amazing what putting pen to paper can do in terms of sorting out your feelings, and it's a great way to alleviate stress too.
- Enhance Your Skills - Feelings of inadequacy can make you especially susceptible to stress on the job. Identify areas that need improvement and take steps to acquire or enhance your skills as needed. You may eventually realize that you're better suited for a role as an RN, and you can start working toward that goal while you're still a CNA to help reduce stress levels as well.
Stress is something all CNAs must learn to cope with to excel in their positions. By adopting the right habits and strategies now, your nursing career is sure to unfold a lot more smoothly.