Personal Trainer Karl McKenna from Vitruvian Health shares his top tips for stress management and “chillaxing” for nurses and midwives.
Nurses and midwives go through a lot of stress in their daily lives. From workload management and vicarious trauma, to our responsibilities at home, there are no shortage of stressors in our daily lives. Here are Karl’s 5 tips for managing stress.
Don’t underestimate sleep
Sleep is critical for your personal and professional performance. Sleep deficits have an adverse effect on your mental wellbeing, and can even make you physically unwell. The average person gets six hours of sleep a night – nowhere near what you need to recovery properly after a stressful day at work. Aim to get eight hours of quality sleep a day.
2. Work on your mobility and posture
Your mobility and posture can help with your breathing and movement – leading to a greater release of stress. For example, exercises that release your diaphragm can help deepen your breath. Exercises that open up the body also help with releasing muscles, and the pent up stress within them.
Working on your posture and mobility has a number of benefits, from improved flexibility to better quality sleep. So give exercises like yoga, pilates or our Core 4 movements a shot.
Consume good quality food
They say that “you are what you eat”, and that statement rings true for feelings of stress. If your diet is full of terrible foods, then this may lead to your mood being adversely affected.
Consider the amounts of salt, sugar that you consume on a daily basis. Processed foods can also have an impact on the body’s stress responses. Replace common “junk” foods with organic foods that are free from chemicals. And make sure you eat your vegetables – I recommend consuming 200-300 grams of vegetables, three to four times a day. For example, you may like to start with raw measures of alfalfa, bean shoots, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, capsicum, celery, cucumber, eggplant, green beans, kale, lettuce, radish, silver beet, spinach, snow peas tomato or zucchini.
Consider taking supplements
Sometimes, not even diet, sleep and exercise can fix the stress we feel on a daily basis. When this is the case, consider taking supplements. For example, magnesium can help the body relax. Foods such as cacao and Manuka honey can also have a positive effect on the body.
Of course, make sure you seek medical advice if you decide to go down this route.
Have an Epsom salt bath
This one’s a personal favourite, particularly after a particularly physically taxing day. Having baths and using Epsom salts can help muscles relax and recover, and the time taken away from our busy lives can help refresh you mentally. If you’ve never tried it, it’s something worth considering.
By taking a look at your daily activities, you’ll be able to decide what parts of your schedule are maximising recovery or decreasing your recovery. By analyzing your daily routine and taking on board some of these tips, your body will reap noticeable benefits.
This post was provided by Vitruvian Health.