4 De-stressing Activities to Help Nurses Avoid Burnout


Few workers experience as much stress as your average RN. In a study that comes as no surprise to nurses, up to 1 in 3 nurses were noticed to display signs of burnout, such as emotional exhaustion. It doesn’t have to be that way! If you’re a nurse looking to reclaim your enthusiasm for an amazing profession, these destressing activities will help you recharge after a tough shift (and maybe even help you enjoy the difficult moments).

The 4 Best Destressing Tips for Nurses

1. Take a break (no matter what)

In any other profession, suggesting that stressed out workers should take brief breaks would seem like an application for the “Most Obvious Idea of the Month” award. Make the same suggestion to a busy nurse, however, and you’ll get a sarcastic smirk, followed by a “When, exactly? I’ve got meds to give, a transfer going out and an admission coming in…”

But, regardless of how busy one may feel, the value of breaks cannot be overstated. Even when you feel swamped, a brief break (5-10 minutes is ideal) will refresh your mind and allow you to come back to work with renewed energy. The subsequent boost in productivity will more than make up for the lost time.

2. Start an Exercise Plan

Though a long shift can be physically exhausting, most of the stress in nursing comes from mental strain. You might feel tired after a day of work, but a brief exercise session can help release the tension. After all, a heavy workload can interfere with healthy lifestyle choices, so restarting an exercise routine may be just what is needed to increase your energy levels and help you deal with stress at work.

3. Find a Hobby

Most cases of burnout start when work begins to overpower and dominate our every thought – even when we’re not clocked in. By taking up a hobby you are passionate about, you give your mind another outlet for your energy. Art, cooking, and sports, for example, will help you refocus your mind on positive issues that are less stressful than your work.

4. Get Organized

Clearing the clutter is an excellent way to control stress in your life. Both in your mind and your personal space, a lack of organization makes it difficult to focus on and accomplish your goals. Most nurses find it helpful, for example, to start every day by making a list of their tasks in order of importance. You might need to make adjustments on the fly, but your initial worklist will still serve as a reference throughout the day. Likewise, applying the same logical thinking to other parts of your life will help you handle stress in a controlled and rational way.

Does a lack of organization make your career hard to handle?

At Nurse Backpack, our goal is to make your life as simple as possible, so you can focus on what matters – saving lives! The Nurse Backpack app helps you stay organized while tracking all of your professional credentials and personal information. If you’re looking for a way to streamline your career, give the app a try today.