How to Deal With Anxiety in Nursing School

Anxiety

I have recently been having a hard time dealing with stress and anxiety. I think the reason for this is the constant going of nursing school. There is always somewhere to be and something to do. Regardless, this is what I signed for so I have to stay on top of things. If you fail to it is very easy to get behind and even fail out of nursing school. Luckily for me, I have finally been able to get into a flow that works for me. I wanted to share it in hopes that I am able to help someone else.

Step 1:

Get organized!!! You can start by getting a planner. This helps because my syllabi are always at least ten pages long on average I have at least three classes per quarter. Seeing what I have to do on a daily view is better than seeing what I have to do over an entire quarter. I also do not want to carry around several folders each class in order to stay on top of things.

Step 2:

Make sure that you are incorporating ME TIME! People often forget just how important this is. This can be achieved by making sure you are doing things that you love such as, hanging out with friends and treating yourself to something nice. Self-care is a must in nursing school. If you do not take care of yourself, it often develops into stress, anxiety, depression, etc.

Step 3:

Avoid Caffeine! Like majority of Americans, I too enjoy a cup of joe each morning. However, when you have anxiety sometimes coffee can make it worse. What is more, caffeine is know to cause gastrointestinal upset.

Step 4:

Practice Relaxation Techniques! People often underestimate the benefits of this. This can done by meditation, yoga, aromatherapy, etc. One of my favorites is tuning into the relaxation music on YouTube. It helps to put me in a better mood so that I am capable of being more productive.

Step 6:

Tell yourself Self-Affirmations! This is important because if you do not believe in yourself and can motivate yourself, you cannot expect someone else to. For example, you can do this by adding sticky notes to your bathroom mirror. Additionally, when you feel negative thoughts creeping into your mind, you can silence it by speaking something positive to counteract it. For spiritual or religious people, you can download applications to your phone that can send you daily devotionals.

Step 7:

Do NOT Cram! Cramming can create the most anxiety because you are putting unnecessary stress on yourself by not properly planning for an exam. In nursing school, there are usually minimum 6-7 chapters on one exam and these chapters have a wealth of information. When you wait until the last minute, you likely will not remember everything you studied. Also, you will not remember the information long term and that will not do you any good when it is time for the NCLEX. That brings me to my next point.

Step 8:

Shut Your Brain Off! You heard that right. Sometimes you have to learn to quiet your mind. I usually do this when I go into what I call “information overload.” This is basically when I studied for too long and now feel like I cannot retain any more information at the time. I step away from the material and go relax. Once I feel that I can handle looking at the information again, I go back to it. This can also be done the night before the exam. Instead of cramming more information the night before, just take a step back and do nothing. This will help you sleep better, feel refreshed the day of the exam, and hopefully help you perform better.

Step 9:

Seek Help. Unfortunately, sometimes are mental health can get far beyond our control. It may be some lingering trauma that we have yet to deal with or some genetics that are out of our control. If you feel that you are unable to maintain control of the anxiety, do not be afraid to seek professional help. This can be by way of a Licensed Clinical Profession Counselor, Psychiatrist, Psychologist, and Therapist. Their services include but not limited to, therapy sessions (one on one or group) and medications.

Well that is all the tips I have for now. I really hope this can help someone. I am placing a link here for those who may be interested in aromatherapy. It is super useful for relaxation and stress relief.

Link: https://amzn.to/2JRGCCd

Lastly, for more tips on dealing with anxiety, check out my YouTube video below.

I’m Ready

I’m Ready

Every Sunday, I can not help but think about how much I dread returning to work on Monday. The weekends are like a breath of fresh air and sadly work is not. Im always contemplating, “Do I really need this job?” I could all be so simple, but life is never really that simple.

Anyways, I gathered a list to attempt to see if the benefits actually outweigh the negatives.

Reasons why people love my working for the federal government

1. Great health insurance

2. Employer match Thrift savings account

3. Pension

4. Grade and step increases

5. Guaranteed cost of living increases

6. Job security

7. Generous vacation time based on time invested

I pointed these out because many always mention these as reasons why they wanted to retire from the federal government. I believe that this mentality alone is what enslaves people. I say this because with every positive that I came up with, I was also able to counteracted it with a negative that over shadows it. I do want to provide a disclaimer that this is my experience with my own agency. There are many other agencies that very well may be different.

Over the years, I have contemplated leaving my job due to its nature. I deal with a lot of difficult individuals on a daily and it can be quite draining. Additionally, I really dislike the changes that are being implemented by government leadership. What is more, some of those once great benefits mentioned above may very well be relinquished.

Reasons why I needed to move on

1. Feeling unfulfilled

2. Militant like culture

3. Brown noser culture

4. Not enough pay

5. Multiple things based of seniority

6. Had to move up in organization

7. Mentally draining work

What do you do when you are no longer happy? When you feel like you have outgrown a position? When you are not valued as an employee? When you feel like you are stagnant? For some, the answer is simple. While others will hesitate based on family needs, age, complacency, false hope, etc. I myself have hesitated too because uncertainty of the next steps. However, I came to the realization that life is too short to be miserable despite some benefits that a job can offer. As for me, my time is coming to an end. I will be releasing myself of the bondage that plague me. My nursing journey will be a fresh start for me and I could not be more excited. My hope is that everyone finds the willpower to do the same.

Reminiscing…

Reminiscing…

Today I want to share a secret about me. So when I was in high school, I attended a Practical Nursing Program. For those who don’t know, the Practical Nursing Program is designed for students who wish to become a Licensed Practical Nurse. The total length of the program was two years. This program was connected to another high school. So I spent a half day at one school and the other half at my home school. We also attended many clinical at local hospitals in the Chicagoland area. After completing the program, I was eligible to take the NCLEX exam. So here are a couple of throwbacks pictures from my graduation in 2008. Some how I wish I could fast forward to 2020 and be done with this MSN already 😩

Story Time

Story Time

For sometime I have been going back and forth with the idea of going back to school. The decision has been difficult considering I already accumulated over $110,000.00 in debt. That figure alone would terrify anyone I’m sure.

Despite of, I still felt deeply that going back is something I should do. Let me explain why. When I was in high school, I attended a Licensed Practical Nursing Program and actually graduated. However, after not passing state boards after a two attempts, I felt defeated. I figured that college was a chance for me to think things over and give it a try with my with bachelors degree. I was pre nursing major for the first two years of undergrad.

However, I struggled adjusting to the curriculum and my grade point average took a hit. With nursing, you have to be competitive to get in and unfortunately I did not have it together. Conversely, I changed my major to Psychology. Doing so allowed me to use the last two years to get my grade point average back up and graduate on time.

Once I graduated, I was offered my first salary position. As a recent graduate, I was ecstatic and gladly accepted. After spending a year there, I found myself researching nursing programs. The job offered tuition reimbursement so I took that opportunity to take the prerequisites necessary.

Shortly after, I was offered another position with the federal government. I took the position because the pay was double what I was currently making. At the time, I was fairly young and money was a great motivator.

It was not long before I found myself unhappy and needing to GET OUT! I spent the next two years getting a masters degree in Public Administration. I figured that life lead me into the field of public service and that the program may be a good fit. I thought that this would be the right move because it would allow me to advance to the next level in my career.

After spending an additional two more years stuck at my current job, I started to think that I made yet another bad decision. I know, I know. You are probably thinking, “This girl is all over the place.” I could not agree more with you (laughing but serious). But the beautiful thing about life is it does not always have to make sense. At this point, the confusion I mentioned before became clarity. I knew NOW that nursing was it for me. This very moment was when I made the decision to go back to school to pursue this MS in Nursing degree.

From here on out it is crucial to be intentional with my moves. My advice to anyone struggling in life, know that it does not always have to be a straight path. Sometimes difficult decisions can come about, but still do what scares you. Typically those are the things that are most liberating and leads to the best outcomes.  Often times we let the fear of the unknown hinder us from our potential.