How to Help with Job Burnout as a Nurse

Nurse burnout is increasingly more common, especially due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nurses have been stretched thin working long, exhausting hours, and have had to deal with an immense amount of stressful situations. Burnout is the state of mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion caused by prolonged and excessive stress and work anxiety. For nurses, burnout can happen quicker than in other jobs. Without the appropriate techniques and stress management tools, work anxiety may seem unbearable.

Causes & Signs of Job Burnout

Burnout can cause nurses to have less energy and less motivation which may result in less efficacious work being done in the hospital. The main causes of nurse burnout include:
  • Long hours and overnight shifts
  • A high stress environment
  • Being overworked with too many responsibilities
  • Anxiety and stress over their patients’ care
  • Experiencing bullying or harassment from patients and/or other hospital staff
  • An overall nurse shortage resulting in less nurses working more hours
  • A lack of work and life balance
When all of these factors combine, high work anxiety and burnout are almost always guaranteed. Unfortunately, when that happens the most common signs of job burnout will be experienced, including the following:
  • Feeling exhausted, overworked, and fatigued
  • Feeling negative and cynical
  • Dreading going to work
  • Feeling emotionally exhausted
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of sleep, an irregular sleeping schedule, and/or insomnia
  • Increased anxiety and depression
  • A constant panic about work
  • Feeling apathetic about others, including patients and co-workers

Stress Management Tools to Deal with Work Anxiety

While nurses may not be able to control their long hours or how a patient treats them, they are able to control how they treat themselves and how they perceive their work situations. In order to deal with the stress and anxiety of nursing, nurses can practice these habits:
Eat a balanced diet: Ensure you are eating a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins that will keep you full longer and give you energy to get through long shifts.
Get restful sleep: Sleep is so important to keep nurses well rested for their next shift. Practice good sleep hygiene by not looking at screens an hour before bedtime.
Practice mindfulness, meditation or yoga: Slow down your mind and decrease your work anxiety with meditation or yoga.
Say “no”: Learn to say “no” when your plate is already too full. Say no to your co-worker or attending doctor when you cannot handle any more responsibilities.
Ask for help: If you are struggling at work, please ask for help. Discuss your situation with your supervisor and come up with meaningful, practical solutions that will help you feel less anxious and stressed.

Try FocusCalm as a Stress Management Tool

If you are feeling burnt out with work anxiety, try the FocusCalm headband and App. FocusCalm guides users through meditation, focus games, and neurofeedback calm games to help them deal with stressful situations in a more focused, relaxed manner. FocusCalm can help nurses respond to stress in more appropriate ways and in turn help them provide better care for their patients. Try FocusCalm today!


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