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Introducing our video series: Mindfulness for nurses

Breathing exercises, yoga and meditation to rest and restore

Stressful moments are a normal part of life, but periods of ongoing stress can be damaging to our physical and mental health. Nursing can be a stressful job at times – you are caring for people who are unwell and may be afraid, and you are working in a changing environment, juggling many different responsibilities. As a result, it is important for your long-term wellbeing that you have practices to help you reduce stress and find calm.

Breathing exercises, yoga and meditation are all types of mindfulness practices: opportunities for you to take time out and simply be in the present moment, where you are able to create space for yourself to recharge. Many people find that regularly practicing these activities can have a positive effect on their overall sense of wellbeing.

Whether you are experiencing increased stress at the moment, or you would simply like to carve out some time for better self-care, we have developed a series of videos focused on the specific needs of nurses.

Each week for the next four weeks, we will release three short videos – the first video each week is a breathing exercise, the second is a gentle yoga sequence, and the third is a short meditation.

You don’t need any experience or equipment to get started

It’s great to know that you don’t need to have any previous experience or special equipment to enjoy and benefit from these practices. You simply need an open mind and a little space.

Try making these videos and their practices part of your daily routine. You might find it helpful to set aside a specific time to use them every day – like first thing in the morning to prepare you for the day ahead, or as a way to wind down when you come home from work.

Before you get started, we thought you might like to learn a bit more about each practice and how it may benefit your wellbeing.

Breathing exercises

How you are feeling and the way you breathe are closely related. When you are stressed, your breath is likely to be rapid and shallow. When you are feeling calm, it is deeper and slower. When you focus on your breath, you can’t be anywhere other than the present moment.

Breathing exercises, or breathwork, is about using different exercises to control and deepen your breath. Deep, conscious breathing can help in quieting a busy mind, something we all have at times and that yoga teachers like to call ‘the monkey mind’!

Yoga

Being on your feet all day when you are nursing is physically demanding on the body. Gentle physical movements, such as yoga poses, can help to keep bones, joints and muscles strong and flexible. You may find that including some yoga movements in your day helps you to stretch, relax and let go.

Meditation

Meditation is a set of techniques to still your mind and focus your attention – which can be as simple as focusing on your breath going in and out for a couple of minutes. Often, people avoid meditation because they find it difficult to empty their mind. That is a misunderstanding of meditation – it is not about emptying the mind, but instead paying attention to the thoughts, emotions and sensations that come up when we are still.

We hope you will enjoy these videos, and they help you find a little bit of calm in your day.

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