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Tips to survive stress and get through a difficult nursing course

Understanding why students in nursing school get stressed doesn’t take much imagination; the pressure of investing in a quality nursing program, achieving high grades, and excelling in industry exams is just the beginning. There is also a looming trepidation of working on living, breathing patients!

There’s a lot that weighs on the mind of nursing students. For one training to be a psych nurse, there’s no way of eliminating stress from your life— but there are ways that can help alleviate some of the pressure.

Techniques to de-stress during nursing school

Practicing recaps after classes

Review your notes right after class, and a little every day to avoid getting stressed through last-minute cramming.

Get in the habit of a quick review by finding an interim time after class. You could pull your notes out while on the bus for a few minutes, while at the grocery store waiting in line, or even on a bench outside your classroom. This will help cut cramming from your routine to help you get a good night’s sleep.

Mix exercise into your study sessions

When stress levels spike due to difficult study sessions, get moving and exercise to help relieve stress and boost your ability to retain what you study. According to a study from Harvard Medical School, regular exercise facilitates the release of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which helps in enhancing memory.

Discuss notes for your exams with your colleagues while jogging or walking. If space or time limitations make walking or running problematic, try a jumping rope.

person sitting while using laptop computer and green stethoscope near

Practice ‘self-care’ literally

While “self-care” indulgence might relieve a little stress momentarily, don’t skip class to watch rom coms in bed. Trying to catch up on missed material will in the long-run exacerbate the problem. This is also not an excuse to be irresponsible, but rather a reminder to attend to your spiritual, physical, and emotional needs.

When you’re immersed in studies and practice, ‘self-care’ seems to be the easiest reliever. As a nursing student, you have to take care of yourself and make it a priority. Given a hundred new terms you need to memorize every week, your time commitments, and new demands, you may be unable to find enough ‘self-care’ time for things like drawing a hot bath for an hour every night. Ensure you sleep enough and exercise to alleviate stress in nursing school.

Eat well and nurture your body

Your sanity and health could endure a short period of on-the-fly meals, caffeine, and exhaustion. But since studying a difficult nursing course could be a marathon – not a sprint, your performance will start to plummet as the months add up. Eat meals that make the mind and body strong; you could arrange healthy potlucks when you gather to study. Think of it as part of your studies if you feel too strapped for time to put a healthy dish together. This will go a long way to boosting your physical, mental, and spiritual health.

woman in white button up shirt and blue stethoscope

Nursing school demands a lot, and it’s not always realistic to avoid stress entirely. Sometimes, you’ll just have to accept the reality of nursing school stress. However, you can stress less, or defeat it entirely with the above few techniques. Investing time in your health will lead to good results on your tests, which is your ultimate goal. It will enhance sustainably and help you bring your best game throughout nursing school.