5 top tips on how to bounce back after a tough shift

Remember, tomorrow is a new day | Photo Credit: Canva

Every day in nursing is different, which is why it’s so incredibly important to know how to bounce right back. Here are our top 5 tips on how to deal with shifts that can get the better of you.

  1. Let it all out, but briefly

After a particularly stressful situation or shift, it’s great to be able to let it all out. Having a “battle buddy” can be very handy in these situations, someone who you can go cry it out with for a few minutes so you can get it back together. Nurses have a job to do – there’s no getting away from that – but being able to let it out can be very healthy.

  1. Tap into your emotions

Nursing is both physically and emotionally demanding work, which is why it can be so rewarding. However, it’s important to acknowledge the impact this can have on your emotions, so that you can remain engaged and present without becoming robotic.  It may sound like a really easy thing to do, but when you’ve been suppressing your feelings all shift, it can be difficult to tap into them later on.

  1. Take the long way home

This one sounds crazy, but hear it out. No-one wants to get home any later than they need to, but sometimes taking the long way home could do wonders after a tough shift. By taking the slower back roads, listening to relaxing music and being alone with your thoughts, you give yourself time to reflect upon the shift you have just had. That silence can be deafening – but it can also be a God-send after a shift surrounded by beeping, screaming and panic.

  1. Try to break into your thoughts

A stressful shift can result in disturbed sleep, repetitive thoughts or lack of concentration – none of which is good for you or anyone at home. Accepting the impact that a shift can have on your physical and mental wellbeing outside of work is key to being able to address it. Follow this up with some time for yourself: do a crossword, read a book, go for a long walk, or get active. Being able to get yourself out of that mental rut can do wonders.

  1. Keep looking forward

Remember, one tough shift is just one tough shift. The worst day will end, no matter how bad it is. You might have had the worst shift, but the next one might be completely different! The next day is always a new day

Got any tips on how to bounce back after a rough shift? Let us know in the comments.


  1. Going for a walk is essential for me. I use this as an opportunity to check in with my body and how it feels. It’s also a great way to bring a racy distracted mind back to what it is doing.

    It’s a great way to release any tension taken on from the day.

    Sometimes I surprise myself with how bright I feel when I go for a walk after a long day. Especially if it’s a Friday?


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