Nurses are committed to providing care to individuals of all ages, groups, families, and communities in various healthcare settings. As a nursing professional, staying physically and mentally healthy is mandatory. But unfortunately, many nurses struggle to take good care of themselves. Other demands often get in the way, pushing your physical, mental, and emotional needs aside.
Nursing is indeed a challenging profession. The long 12-hour shifts, the demanding workload, the workplace bullying, and the high exposure to infection may lead to nurse burnout – fatigue and frustration resulting from workplace stress. Reports suggest that patients are usually less satisfied in healthcare settings where nurses are stressed out and unhappy.
Delivering holistic health care can be exhausting, both physically and mentally. If you can relate to this, it is time to start working on yourself and stop the unhealthy cycle. Focus on increasing your energy levels and minimizing stress. Health and wellness are directly related to your success and your private life. When you feel good, you work better, and when you perform better, your patients get satisfied.
We have got some tips for you to improve both your physical and mental health as a nurse.
- Balance Work-Life And Family-Life
You often give your best to your work life while giving no time to your family. It can be hard for you to balance work and family life as a nurse, leading to stress only.
You may even want to level up your education, but the haunting workload thoughts may hinder you from doing so. Getting yourself enrolled in nurse practitioner programs online can be the best way to help you with work-life balance and get your skills leveled up to achieve your goals. The online flexibility will allow you to attend classes at your own pace while enjoying an hour or two with your family.
Besides, keeping an organized calendar for a healthy balance can be helpful. Ensure making time for friends, family, and yourself to alleviate stress and improve satisfaction with your life.
When you are stress-free, you have fewer chances of developing health problems.
- Healthy Diet
Long nursing shifts often lead to poor eating habits, resulting in chronic health conditions. Making little dietary substitutions in your life can help you maintain your health. Eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, pulses, whole grains, and seafood. Avoid consuming processed and sugary foods. You can swap rice, white bread, pasta, and crackers for whole-grain versions. Replace sugary beverages with fresh food juices and water.
Want some snacks during a shift? No worries. Rather than munching on cookies, candies, and chips, you can have healthy snacks, such as a handful of cashews, almonds, or pistachios and berries.
- Get Enough Sleep
Getting sufficient sleep is vital to health. Nurses may not get adequate sleep because of their long-hour shifts, which may increase their risk of chronic illnesses.
Nurses must get enough sleep to allow their brains to function between tiring shifts. When you don’t get sufficient sleep, your energy levels deplete, and you might overeat and feel impatient and unhappy. Therefore, nurses are recommended to get at least seven to nine hours of sleep every night. Sleeping at the same hour each night and waking up at the same time every morning will help you set your sleep schedule and get healthy sleep each day.
- Don’t Forget To Exercise
One of the best ways to keep yourself healthy is to incorporate exercise into your lifestyle. The next time you go to a hospital’s higher floor, ignore the elevator and use the stairs. You will exercise your lungs and get your heart pumping. It’s a good way to incorporate physical activity without taking time to exercise.
Go to the gym on weekends. If this seems too much, start simple. Ride a bicycle to the nearest park or walk to the grocery store instead of going in a vehicle.
Exercise has proven to increase energy, relieve stress, and maintain weight. Ensure adding at least 30 minutes of physical activity to your life to boost your overall well-being.
- De-Stress yourself
Experts suggest regular exercise, breathing techniques, and meditation to minimize stress. But you can do something as enjoyable and simple as reading your favorite book, listening to peaceful music, or going to a park to appreciate nature. Spending time doing something you appreciate and enjoy goes a long way toward thrashing everyday life stressors.
You can practice mindfulness to focus on the present only. If you don’t have enough time between long shifts, don’t worry. Even deep breathing can help alleviate your stress. Take a short break and try taking deep breaths. It will help your body release chemicals that help you relax, reduce stress, and may boost your immune system.
Nursing is a challenging as well as rewarding profession in healthcare. Nurses are committed to caring for the sick and well in all healthcare settings. They care for patients’ medicines, physical health, emotional wellbeing, etc. But when it comes to their self-care, they often forget to consider it a top priority. Delivering care can be both physically and mentally stressful. Nurses need to prioritize their health to deliver quality patient care. Making healthy lifestyle choices and enjoying favorite hobbies are a few ways nurses can keep themselves healthy and stress-free.