In my previous post, I talked about self-care and finding time for yourself during school.  This doesn’t prevent stress, but when it happens here are some things you can do to de-stress.

1. Breathe

Seriously, take a deep breath.  When I feel overwhelmed when I come home from clinical or as I’m writing a 20 page paper, or reading Nagelhout, sometimes I just have to stop and take a breath.  I bought a rocking chair that I sit in and drink tea every morning just to start off my day relaxed.

I use the 4, 7, 8 breathing technique I learned online from Dr. Weil. When I started having minor anxiety attacks (which are gone now), I used this technique and it worked wonders for my acute stress and anxiety.

  • I sit in my rocking chair or on the couch and exhale completely though my mouth
  • I then breathe in for a count of 4, hold my breath for a count of 7
  • Exhale through my mouth for a count of 8

This also has worked wonders for my mild road rage…

2. Exercise

I love to run.  I don’t run to lose weight, I run because it’s also a great stress reliever for me.  I used to be a sprinter, now I do 2-5 miles (when I have the time).  It doesn’t have to be a marathon.  But preferably get outside, do some form of physical activity a few times a week.  Your body AND mind will thank you!

3. Positivity

This one is so underrated.  Read my post about positive thinking and you’ll know what I’m talking about.  It’s so easy to get discouraged during CRNA school or any higher educational program for that matter.  Some days you leave clinical thinking you just couldn’t do anything right. And that’s ok.  Learn from your mistakes and realize that it only makes you a better provider.  Find the good and positive aspects in everything that you do.  Reflect on the good things that have happened during the day and write it down.  When I vlog my clinical days on Instagram, I always tell my followers that there is no bad day.  There’s only good days and great days.  My grandfather used to quote this bible verse all day, “God saw all he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” Genesis 1:31. (RIP Gramps)

4. Reach Out

Find someone to reach out to.  Whether it be a friend in your class, a mentor, your spouse, significant other.  Have a way to vent. Start a blog, journal, diary, anything that can help you mentally process what’s going on.

5. Sleep

This is also an important one.  Make sure you get adequate rest.  In undergrad I was the Queen of all-nighters. When you have to wake up at 4:30 am and someone’s life is in your hands, this isn’t the best idea.  Although it seems fun and “proves” how hard of a studier you are, get enough rest.  Pushing your body to its limits will only last so long until you crash.  Nobody likes the sound of that…