Are you a nurse that feels run down and constantly stressed? If so, you’re not alone. Working as a nurse can be a demanding job, but it’s essential to take care of yourself to maintain your health and well-being. Nurses can take many actionable steps to improve their self-care behaviors. We put together this list of 7 easy tips for the nurses ready to start living healthier today.
Eat nutritious food
Staying healthy means eating right, and when you’re a nurse, you’ll need to be extra careful. A healthy and nutritious diet is the best way to avoid health risks, so eat lots of fruits and veggies while limiting processed foods, sugars, and starches. Metabolize unhealthy food properly to stay energized. A healthy diet is crucial if you work the night shift where you can’t eat right because of a hectic schedule or limited resources. Food plays a significant role in your mental and physical health, so refueling properly will help you stay focused and attentive. It’s also an excellent idea to cherish your meals by taking time to eat them, even if it means missing out on socializing. Enjoy the food while it’s hot by slowly chewing each bite so that you can absorb all the nutrients.
Invest in self-growth
Nurses are an integral part of the medical care system. Working as a nurse should not limit you from focusing on self-improvement and growth. With the latest advancements in healthcare, it is essential to invest in self-growth and education. Many universities offer online programs that can help you continue your education and work. One of the simplest ways to continue your education as a Registered Nurse is enrolling yourself in the RN to BSN Online Program. Continuing your education will help you stay on top of the game and open better career opportunities for you.
Get proper sleep
Getting proper sleep is essential for every part of your life, and when you’re a nurse, it’s crucial. You must stay mentally alert all the time to pay attention to detail, as you are responsible for other people’s lives. If you’re exhausted, not only will that affect your performance as a nurse, but it could also endanger someone under your care. Don’t miss out on sleep because you’re trying to meet all your responsibilities. It’s entirely possible to do everything that needs to be done without sacrificing sleep. Put yourself first for once and get the rest you need! When you don’t get enough sleep, your work suffers. You probably know what it’s like to come home after a long shift and crash on the couch. Figure out what’s worth sacrificing for sleep and cut it out of your schedule. Prioritize your need for rest over other time commitments like meeting friends or watching TV. When you get enough sleep, it makes everything else much easier to manage.
Schedule a regular break
When you’re working on a stressful job that requires accuracy and attention, you’ll need some time to pause. Scheduling a break during work helps nurses prevent mistakes caused by fatigue and stress. Don’t let your coworkers guilt you into working overtime or skipping breaks because they need the help. It’s more important to take care of yourself than to finish someone else’s task, so make sure you’re not burdened or overworked. When taking a break, distract yourself from work by doing something relaxing like practicing yoga or meditating. Breaks can help you recharge, so you can better focus when it’s time to work.
Being healthy and active is one of the most important aspects of self-care, mainly working as a nurse. Exercising improves mood, keeps your blood circulating properly, and maintains muscle strength for those complex labor jobs. A few minutes of daily walk is a simple way to maintain an active lifestyle and stay in shape. Since you’re already going outside, taking the scenic route will help you get some fresh air and de-stress. If you work with patients all day, there may not be time for exercise during working hours. In that case, make sure you’re not letting exercise fall by the wayside once you finish work. You can still find time to do some exercises at home, such as pushups or crunches, to release built-up stress and stay healthy in general.
Drink enough water
Water plays a massive role in overall health, so staying hydrated is an essential part of self-care, particularly if you’re a nurse. Drinking water keeps your organs in good shape, keeps skin hydrated, and prevents headaches or fatigue. If drinking enough water is hard at work, keep a large bottle with you to remind yourself to refill it as needed throughout the day. Don’t let a busy routine get in the way of staying hydrated. Make time to drink at least eight glasses of water every day.
Eating is a necessity, but it’s also crucial for your mental health. Skipping daily meals can make you feel tired and low on energy, so make sure to have something nourishing at least three times a day. Also, avoid skipping breakfast or lunch entirely – this will only make you far more likely to seek unhealthy snacks like cake or candy. Keep a healthy drink or snacks on hand to keep your energy up and maintain a balanced diet. Nurses are often busy, but don’t let a hectic schedule get in the way of your health. Eating regular meals is an easy way to ensure that you feel fantastic both physically and mentally.
Find time for yourself
Working as a nurse requires immense attention to detail, so balancing work with taking care of yourself is challenging. Even if you feel like you don’t have time for self-care, sneak in some me-time whenever possible. When your patient is stable and there’s no emergency, take the opportunity to relax for a little bit. Take a quick walk, read a book, or do something else that will help you unwind at the end of a long shift. If your schedule makes self-care difficult, try to find a hobby outside of work so you can have some healthy “me” time. Keep yourself balanced and grounded so you don’t burn out from working too much.
Nurses are a fundamental unit of the medical care system. They give their 100% to ensure the well-being of their patients. However, to work as an effective healthcare worker, nurses should prioritize self-care. We hope that the tips discussed in this article will help you maintain a healthy and happy life. If you have any more self-care tips for nurses, leave them in the comment section below!