It’s a nurse’s responsibility to show their patients the importance of a healthy lifestyle – yet some nurses are unable to take time for themselves, which can result in them even neglecting their own health.
As a nurse, you must be able to care for yourself before you can care for others. With that in mind, the following are some tips for you – to help you stay in top shape, physically and mentally.
Let’s get the obvious out the way: being a nurse can be physically demanding. The stress that comes with a career in nursing can take a physical toll on you, and long hours on your feet can cause lasting aches and pains. That’s why maintaining physical fitness is paramount. Luckily for you, there are ways to take care of yourself and meet your professional responsibilities at the same time.
The foundation of good health is a diet that consists of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and healthy fats. Your personal and professional obligations may keep you busy, but you can still make sure that you’re eating healthily before, during, and after your shift with a little planning.
Ordering out with coworkers may be fun – and a great way to bond with them – but bringing your own food to work can help you avoid making poor diet choices, so be sure to keep healthy snacks on hand for quick pick-me-ups.
Working-out is not only essential to good health; it can help relieve stress, boost energy, control weight, and help recharge your batteries too – and you certainly don’t need to join a gym to make regular exercise part of your routine. You can lead an active lifestyle by doing light exercise like walking, swimming, and weight-training.
It’s not enough to eat well and stay active; you need to get plenty of rest too. Sleep is key to reviving brain function between stressful shifts, so getting enough of it (which is typically between seven to nine hours per night for the average adult) is necessary in order to stay alert and aware, and to be able to make quick decisions at work.
Mental fitness is just as important as physical fitness. Think about it: your brain stem runs through your entire body and is in direct communication with your environment and emotions. With a healthy mind comes greater awareness and less susceptibility to distractions, thus improving your performance and reducing the risks of errors at work.
As your career progresses, there will be many situations that will test you mind. It can be easy to get lost in the daily cycle when you’re a nurse and overlook times when you’re overwhelmed or overworked. That’s why you need to be mindful to focus as much of your energy on your own needs as on your patients’ needs – even if that means just taking some time for yourself each day.
You can maintain good mental health and keep your mind sharp by unwinding and doing the simple things you love, whether it’s reading, staying social, or listen to soothing music.
It’s never easy to balance between your professional life and personal life, but spending quality time with your loved ones is good for the soul and can help you refresh for the next shift. As much as you value your profession, you should aim to make time for your friends and family in order to help you stay grounded, which can make a big difference in both job performance and output.
Need More Tips?
Self-care goes hand-in-hand with patient care in nursing, so we hope you’ve found these tips useful. If you want to learn more about how you can improve your own and your patient’s health, find out how mindfulness can benefit your career.