- Drag yourself out of bed. Avoid lingering in bed as this will only aggravate your anxiety. It is also important for you to get under the early morning sun even for a few minutes each day. Take deep, cleansing breaths and perform simple stretches to invigorate you.
- Watch what you eat. Eating healthy, balanced meals spaced out during the day will help curb your anxiety. A protein breakfast is also essential to sustain your energy levels as the day progresses. Your daily diet should also have healthy amounts of fruits and vegetables for normal elimination patterns. Furthermore, cut back on fatty and oily food to prevent sluggishness and mood swings. Sugar intake must also be in moderation as it can aggravate anxiety and irritability.
- Get hydrated. Drink more than 8 full glasses of water on a daily basis. Go easy on caffeine as it can only aggravate your nervousness. It is also advisable to avoid drinking coffee and other caffeinated drinks after 4 p.m. for a good night's rest.
- Sleep well. It is important for you to get plenty of rest and sleep to reduce anxiety and mood swings. If you are used to staying up late at night, a massage, warm bath, and a glass of warm milk or decaffeinated chamomile tea will help your body relax. Switching to dimmer lighting at bedtime will also promote sleep.
- Identify support systems. Having a solid support system will help you deal with a stressful situation. It is very natural for you to seek out family members and friends especially during these very stressful times. You have been busy before the board exams so you might want to spend more time with friends and family to strengthen relationships and gain emotional support.
- Ventilate your feelings. Always, in very stressful situations, it is important to ventilate your feelings in a healthy manner. Feelings of anxiety should be communicated to support persons as pent-up emotions will only aggravate anxiety and stress. Engaging in sports will also help release tension.
- Try out new things. This is probably the best time for you to visit places you've never been to, try out different cuisines, take up a new hobby, or just do something you haven't had a chance to do because you were so busy preparing for the nursing board exams. These activities will not only help you reduce anxiety but will contribute to your personal growth as well.
- Be optimistic -- and realistic. While waiting for the results, be optimistic and hope for favorable outcomes. Fretting about the exams now and wallowing in depression won't change your scores and it certainly isn't good for your psychological health so you might as well assume a positive outlook these coming days. And when the results come out and things didn't turn out the way you expected them to, well, there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel. I know people who didn't make it the first time but are now going through an all-time high in their respective nursing careers.
Having said that, our best wishes - and congratulations- from CyNurse of Ward Class and Lyle of Pinoy R.N.
Note: If you want a copy of the June 2008 Nurse Licensure Examination results, submit your email address to our mailing list.