DQ: Discuss ways in which you will recognize signs of imbalance or stress as a DNP learner

DNP 801 Topic 1 Discussion 2

DQ Discuss ways in which you will recognize signs of imbalance or stress as a DNP learner


My sense of recognizing stress is quite simple, I tend to close myself off from others and want to procrastinate everything I must do till the very last second. I have noticed that it is happening already with this program. I feel like I am not ready for this and may have been out of the education realm for too long. I find myself feeling overwhelmed and disappointed all at once. I am even late with this post as I was actually thinking of withdrawing and starting later in the year.  I want to be successful but sometimes I feel that I sometimes put obstacles purposely in my way to sabotage my success. So, this discussion was quite useful in helping me to find ways to recognize, assess and help to reduce stressors and maintain a balance that is right for me. Everyone’s discussion has given me the strength and courage to continue on in this program and have given me a great perspective on how to make sure to have time for myself and how to reach that goal. So thank you to all.

In looking at selfcare articles the best thing for being sure to take care of yourself is to get a good night’s sleep, set up routine for good time management, meditation, not being afraid to ask for help and take a break when you need to regroup (Steven Tippens, 2019). If you use the

right strategies to self-care, it will help you survive and gain success in the success of such a vigorous program.


Your also need to know your limits and schedule selfcareactivity on your calendar whether it be a walk, coffee at Starbucks or a trip to the zoo. You also must set goals that are reachable and mark them off when you achieve them.  But I feel that most important teaching I found about selfcare in such a high demand program is that even though things are not always perfect or easy that you are not alone on this journey there are others that are probably feeling the same as you so lean on them as well for guidance and support (Diaz & Lawrence, 2019).




Diaz, K., & Lawrence, C. (2019, October). The importance of self-care in

graduate school. Retrieved from The Advocate:

Steven Tippens, P. (2019, March 22). A Doctoral Student’s Guide to

Self-Care. Retrieved from Medium:

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Thank you for posting. Some of the feelings you have, I have as well. Especially about feeling as though not ready and wanting to

DQ Discuss ways in which you will recognize signs of imbalance or stress as a DNP learner
DQ Discuss ways in which you will recognize signs of imbalance or stress as a DNP learner

postpone and blocking my ability to succeed. You achieved a goal-You got your discussion posted and it is really meaningful. I agree, procrastination does increase stress, in my case.

I too had thoughts of withdrawing because I was ready all the information, some areas for example the DC and LDP I could not gain access over the weekend, etc. Fortunately, this morning I see that

  1. I did read the instructions for our first discussion post correctly
  2. DC Network is available and I’m able to log in and peruse the site and locate the necessary forms that are due tonight.

I took these hiccups personally and thought maybe I’m not worthy to be in such a program. However, reading the discussion postings from different students and the literature on what it takes to be a doctoral student has been thought provoking, and self-reflection. This is what I want to do, it will not be easy, but with management, taking stress relief measures, being active, and eating well balanced diet, not procrastinating, I can do this.

“We need to understand that making mistakes is part of being human, not because we are inadequate. (Hofmeyer & Kennedy, 2020 )

Keep the faith,


Hofmeyer, A., Taylor, R., & Kennedy, K. (2020). Knowledge for nurses to better care for themselves so they can better care for others during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond. Nurse Education Today, 94.



It is important to each and everyone of us to make sure that we give ourselves plenty of time to work on our schedule to prioritize which will help us in our school, work and family life. Going back to school while working full time is stressful and exciting at the same time. A lot of anxiety goes on my mind and thinking if I can do it this time. Emotional well- being during this time is important that we should all consider while in school and outside life.

Stress is a state of mental or emotional pressure resulting from a difficult situation or issue that can be resolved when identified. Many of the stressors were inherent from our profession since we work long hours, dealing with loss, emotional suffering, caring for dying patients and providing support to families and patients. There are several ways to improve or relieve stress and can be managed by a person. Effective techniques for stress management varies and one is self-care. Self-care includes mindfulness practices, good nutrition eating habits, physical good health with exercise.

As a DNP learner I realized that I should self- improve and should know how to manage my stress and make sure to remind myself that I need self- care too. while reading some articles regarding stress I was able to come up tips to guide me in balancing my studies, work and being a mother. Techniques include manage my time wisely, setting limits for my school work, schedule for studying, small breaks when needed. Other technique is make sure I am organized in taking notes, keeping track of my schedules, assignments and other important task. Create a good study environment, making sure that your study area is quiet, peaceful and soothing to you because it will reduce some of the stress and will help you focus in learning. Making sure that you get enough sleep and well rested is important. Sleep deprivation can add to your stress and won’t help you in learning. Balancing with school, work and life should include taking care of your self. Now that I am back in school I will make time to enjoy spending time with my friends whenever I can, dine out with family from time to time, spa which includes manicure and pedicure that will make me feel good inside and out. These relaxation techniques are part of my daily routine that can help my overall wellness. Last thing is going to church every Sunday and always praying to God and asking for guidance.




Alshutwi S, Alkhanfari H, Sweedan N. The influence of time management skills on stress and academic performance level among nursing studentsJ Nurs Educ Prac. 2020;10(1):96-100. doi:10.5430/jnep.v10n1p96


Botha E., Gwin T., Purpora C. The effectiveness of mindfulness based programs in reducing stress experienced by nurses in adult hospital settings: a systematic review of quantitative evidence protocol. JBI Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports . 2015;13(10):21–29. doi: 10.11124/jbisrir-2015-2380. – DOI – PubMed


Greeson J. M., Zarrin H., Smoski M. J., et al. Mindfulness meditation targets transdiagnostic symptoms implicated in stress-related disorders: understanding relationships between changes in mindfulness, sleep quality, and physical symptoms. Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: ECAM . 2018;2018:10. doi: 10.1155/2018/4505191.4505191 – DOI – PMC – PubMed

I am glad that you have included manicures and pedicures as your self-care. I felt relaxed just thinking about it! I agree that having a schedule for school work is so important, as well as scheduling breaks. It has taken me a long time to try to reprogram my thinking. Efficiency can come from rest! I am working on a designated work area, I think that is a wonderful idea. I currently work in my kitchen, which is the gathering area for my teenagers. While I love to see them, it is also very distracting! The spiritual dimension is a vital part of stress reduction, I am glad you are prioritizing it!

Going to school or college is exciting but can be very stressful. Stress according to Cohen et al., (2016) is an umbrella term used to represent the experiences in the environmental demands of people’s situations affect them and their ability to cope with them physically or psychologically well. We all feel stress in various ways and dimensions and the body produces different responses depending on the type of stress, who is affected by the stress and our ability to manage the stress (Cool & Zappetti, 2019). There are different stressors in life, chronic, acute, life and daily events and they could be intertwined. For instance, a chronic stressor could lead to a life event, like the death of a loved one who has been sick for several years. Acute stressors may be considered chronic stressors as well. Being in school is an acute stressor but also a chronic stressor because a person is in school for a long time. Going to school is also a chronic stressor that will lead to a life event of graduating from school (Cohen, Gianaros, & Manuck, 2016).

Some of the ways to recognize signs of imbalance or stress as a DNP learner is when I am not meeting up with my work, assignments and playing catch up or when I am feeling overwhelmed. When I feel inadequate, not knowing what I am doing or things are not coming out right. And most especially when I am not getting enough sleep.

Self-care is some of the habits and practices that one can use to take care of themselves and manage the stressors of life, such as with family, friends, work and school to enhance your well-being. Knowing and practicing these techniques will help one to reduce most stresses. Some studies have shown that when we take care of our body, mind and our spirit, we are more productive in our lives both professionally and academically (Texas Division of Student Affairs, 2022).

Some of the self-care routines that I will use to help me to achieve balance with my learning would be to try and calm my self down by doing deep breathing exercises, trying to stay calm and think it through using mindfulness. Being mindful of what I need to do, writing it out in order of priority. I also talk to my friends who have been through the same situation give me advice and I try to use the best one that will work for me. I usually talk to my mother and she encourages me and prays for me. While doing all these, I am also praying to God to help me, by giving me wisdom and understanding of what I need to do. I also use time out to rest and relax by watching TV- a funny program, sometimes I go out with friends, take a walk or just stay home to rest or sleep (napping) then when I wake up, I feel refreshed. There are times when I do not answer the phone either. I do not do anything too stressful at this time. I also reach out to my instructors and professors and explain how I am feeling and they also give me advice on what I should do.


Cohen, S., Gianaros, P. J., & Manuck, S. B. (2016). A stage model of stress and disease. Perspectives on Psychological Science11(4), 456-463.

Cool, J., & Zappetti, D. M. (2019). The physiology of stress. In J. M. Zappetti & J. D Avery. Medical student well-being: An essential guide. Springer, Cham.

Crosswell, A. D., & Lockwood, K. G. (2020). Best practices for stress measurement: How to measure psychological stress in health research. Health Psychology Open

Texas Division of Student Affairs (2022) Self-care activities. UT Counseling and Mental Health Center.