We don’t need to tell you that nursing is a demanding profession where many individuals deal with high levels of stress. As a nurse, you face extreme pressure and emotional challenges every day. You have to deal with the harsh realities of death, disease, injury and other difficulties in caring for people in vulnerable states. As a result, the demands on your energy and mental health can be intense.
Social media can be a valuable tool to connect with other nurses, get support, find resources and cope with the stresses of the job. But it’s also essential to know how to use social media in a healthy and productive way and have other avenues like a de-stressing skincare routine to turn to.
We will cover all of this and more.
How Nurses Use Social Media for Stress Relief
1) Find, Develop and Embrace Community
We firmly believe that nurses are some of the most important healthcare professionals globally. Over the years, you’ve helped save countless lives and make a real difference in the lives of your patients. As you know, nurses are also known for having a close-knit community. You often rely on each other for support, both professionally and personally.
Social media has become an important part of the nursing profession in recent years. Nurses like you use social media to find information, share ideas and connect with other nurses worldwide. In this way, social media is a great way to relieve stress.
When you connect with other nurses online, you can share your experiences and vent about day-to-day struggles. This helps create a sense of community and benefits all nurses to feel better supported. And when an individual feels supported and lifted up by their peers, stress levels tend to go down.
2) Foster Personal Connections
Nurses would often seek support from their friends and families in the past. But, as you know, in today’s world many nurses are too busy to do this. In fact, you’ve likely seen how many nurses don’t even have time for themselves. So the stress relief that would typically be found in personal relationships is absent.
The American Nurses Foundation has found that younger nurses, in particular, have been significantly affected by stress in recent years. So, if you’re in this group, you know it’s likely because there are more responsibilities than ever before to deal with in a field where personnel shortages are reaching a crisis level.
This is where social media can come in handy. Social media provides nurses with a way to connect with friends and family members online. You can share photos, videos and thoughts about your day and transcend the barriers of shift work and long-distance communication. You can also chat with friends and family members in real-time when schedules do match up. All this helps to keep those personal connections alive.
3) Seek Support
In addition to finding and developing community and fostering personal connections, social media can also be a great way to seek support. For example, you can turn to social media to find support from peers and professionals when you’re feeling stressed out. This can take the form of simply venting about a difficult day to a colleague who will empathize and understand or seek advice from other nurses.
Social media can also be a great place for nurses like you to find support from mental health professionals. Many social media platforms have groups or forums where nurses can get help for their mental health. This can be a great way to get access to professional help without leaving your home.
Tips for Healthy Social Media Use
Although social media is often talked about negatively, following some best-practice tips can make it a valuable tool for good. Here are four tips for using social media in a healthy way:
- Plan Social Media Time – Although it can be tempting to spend hours scrolling through your social media feeds, it’s important to remember that this is not productive or healthy. If you want to get the most out of social media, set a time of day and amount of time that you’ll engage and when that’s up, log off.
- Be Choosy About Who You Follow – What and who you see in your social media feed will determine who you choose to follow and what posts you interact with. Snooze and unfollow people and pages that spike your stress levels or which don’t add value to your life.
- Take Breaks – Like anything else, it’s essential to take breaks from social media. This will help you avoid getting burnt out and help you return to it refreshed. So don’t worry if you’re not checking in every single day. A week off can be a good thing.
- Think Before You Post – Remember that what you post online is permanent. So, before you hit post, ask yourself if you want this to be the first thing people see about you. Also, don’t vent or post inflammatory content when you’re feeling stressed or you have been drinking alcoholic beverages.
Other Ways to Handle Stress
Social media can be great for handling stress. Still, you incorporate other simple things into daily life and your routine to de-stress from work. Here are five of them:
1) Exercise – Exercise is a great way to release endorphins and clear your head. It also helps to relieve stress and tension. This could be a gym session, yoga, a swim or even a walk. Find something you enjoy!
2) Personal Care Routine – Reaching for a personal skincare set to take care of yourself after a long day at work can be very soothing. For example, taking a hot bath, using a face mask or just moisturizing can help you relax. Using active ingredients in skincare to your benefit, like healthy doses of vitamin E, chamomile and lavender, can also help promote relaxation.
3) Indulge in a Hobby – Find something you love to do and indulge in it. This can be painting, reading, scrapbooking, hiking or anything that brings you joy. It can also help you connect with a community outside the nursing world to give you a break.
4) Connect with Nature – Spend time outside in nature. This can be sitting in your backyard, walking in the park or taking a hike. Being around plants and trees can help to lower your stress levels.
5) Get Enough Sleep – This one is probably the most important and challenging, but so worth it. It’s hard to manage stress when you’re not well-rested. So aim for seven to eight hours of sleep per night to feel your best. And when this isn’t possible, dedicate some time on days off to closing the sleep deficit that most nurses live in.
Diversity in Stress Relief
Nurses, we hope you’ve found this information useful. Remember that social media should be used to supplement your self-care routine, not replace it. Incorporate the other techniques we discussed into your life and use social media to connect with others who understand what you’re going through. It can be a great resource for finding support and relief from stress. How have you been using social media to relieve stress in your nursing career?