Nursing is a stressful job, and it certainly is not for the faint of heart. From working ‘round the clock to dealing with ever-changing healthcare regulations to caring for sometimes not-so-pleasant patients, it takes a particular person to be a nurse. Even those who are exceptionally gifted and love what they do, though, are not immune to the stresses of the job.
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When they are off the clock, nurses increasingly turn to the Internet and social media for some much-needed de-stressing. While apps like TikTok have faced a lot of scrutiny in recent years, they have also become a place where nurses — and other healthcare professionals — can unwind, poke a bit of fun at themselves and their jobs and connect with other people.
If wearing your favorite comfy jogger scrub pants is not enough to mitigate the stress of your job, check out these ways nurses are using social media to de-stress themselves.
1. Making Videos on TikTok
When nurses are looking for an escape from reality, they often turn to the popular social media app, TikTok. There are several accounts run by nurses who use the platform to share a lighthearted look at their jobs, poke fun at the industry and share important information with the public. Some are even using the platform to tell others about their favorite scrub pants for women and review various brands of nursing shoes.
With TikTok, anyone with a smartphone can create and share short videos about nearly anything. The platform is an excellent way for nurses to make themselves heard, and it’s becoming increasingly popular among millennials.
If you’re thinking about sharing videos on TikTok or any other social media platform, remember to keep it professional and avoid sharing anything that could violate patient privacy. Even when you are just trying to unwind and enjoy your downtime, it’s always essential to maintain professionalism online.
2. … And Watching Other People’s Videos on TikTok
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For those who aren’t fond of being in front of the camera, watching videos on TikTok is a great way to escape. Since the videos are short, you can watch several in the course of just a 15-minute break. And, sometimes, that brief escape from the daily grind is all you need to get your stress levels in check before going back on the floor.
Checking out other peoples’ videos can be a good way to discover new de-stressing techniques, too. Or learn from other healthcare professionals. Whether you are watching funny videos or learning from other people who work in your field, spending some time on TikTok is a simple means of escaping from the stress of your day for a little while.
3. Creating a Sense of Community with Other Nurses
You probably have several co-workers whom you consider, at the very least, work friends. The people you see and work with regularly can provide a great deal of support, but, sometimes, it’s helpful to connect with other folks who understand what you are going through.
That’s where social media comes in.
Thanks to platforms like Twitter, Facebook and even Instagram, you can connect with other nurses in your area and around the world. Using social media to build communities of nurses throughout the country and worldwide allows healthcare workers to connect and share their struggles and triumphs. It makes it possible to share thoughts and ideas and get input from others who understand but are outside of the specific situation.
Sometimes, connecting with someone who works in the same field but in a different area gives you a different perspective of a situation. Talking things out and getting different views is an excellent way to ease stress and find solutions that you may not have thought of independently.
4. Spreading Positivity
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has felt like a pretty frightening and uncertain place. Recognizing this, many nurses have turned to social media to share messages of positivity and spread hope to an anxious world.
While many healthcare workers are using TikTok to share funny videos, others share inspirational images on Instagram, post (with permission) patient success stories on Facebook and respond to posts about the pandemic with helpful and truthful information.
In spreading positivity to others, many are feeling their own anxieties melting away. There can be a lot of negativity on the Web. Still, the nurses who have decided to use their social media platforms to share hope and positivity have found that it can be a powerful tool for mitigating their own stress.
5. Helping Patients Connect with Loved Ones
Though restrictions are beginning to loosen, many long-term hospital patients and residents in assisted living facilities have been unable to see their loved ones since the beginning of the pandemic. To ease their loneliness and give themselves the boost of happiness that comes from doing something nice for others, nurses have been helping patients and residents connect with their family members using social media.
From setting up video calls through Facebook to teaching people how to see the photos their loved ones post on Instagram, nurses have helped countless people feel more connected to the outside world. While this is something that they are doing while on the clock and not in their personal time, it is still a way many nurses have found to de-stress.
The Bottom Line
Social media can be a powerful tool for de-stressing. The important thing, though, is to remember to use it wisely. Whether you are creating content or engaging with content created by others, remember to present yourself professionally. Using social media as an escape is great, but you could find yourself in hot water if you are not careful.
Remember, too, that there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Social media addiction is real. If you are using TikTok, Facebook or any other platform as a constant form of escapism, you might have a problem. If you rely on social media to regularly make yourself feel better, your favorite platform could have a detrimental impact on your mental health.