Nurses possess exemplary qualities and often work for double treble shifts straight. They ensure that their patients receive quality treatment and help them on their path to recovery. However, they often neglect their wellness. Because of workload and constant running here and there, they become exhausted but do not find enough time to rest. It results in burnout and impacts nurses’ well-being.
Nurses’ mental and physical health has a direct impact on patients. Stressed, overworked, and sick nurses cannot yield positive patient outcomes. Moreover, health issues in nurses can affect their working and raise the chances of demonstrating negligence. Nurses must look after their health to lead a happy and healthy life.
Nursing is stressful and demanding. Still, it does not mean you ignore your wellness. Let’s dig into some pointers that shed light on how you can improve your health as a nurse:
1. Establish a Routine
Nurses have a lot on their to-do list, and they stay occupied from the time they open their eyes till they hit the bed. Setting a routine becomes difficult for them because of unexpected tasks that keep coming and require their immediate attention. Still, they should prioritize their well-being and establish a healthy routine.
Wake up at the set time and ensure that you sleep soundly for 6 to 8 hours. Set time for snacks, meals, and other activities. Many nurses take advantage of distance learning options and pursue an advanced nursing degree online. Even if you enrolled in any online nursing course, such as RN to BSN online program, dedicate a time slot for studying. It will help you discipline yourself and bring some ease to your hectic schedule.
Nurses do not need any affirmation that exercise is crucial for health. Still, many nurses do not indulge in workouts, stating that they do not get sufficient time.
Ensure that you do workouts at least thrice a week. It helps stay fit, keep the weight in check, and deal with cholesterol, sugar level, and blood pressure fluctuations. Besides, exercise also relieves anxiety and depression and enhances mental health.
Practicing meditation has remarkable effects on the human mind, body, and soul. Nurses have a lot going on in their minds, which overwhelms them.
Find a quiet place where you can sit and relax for a few minutes. Eight to ten minutes are more than enough and can help you de-stress, relax and fill you with energy. Meditating for a few minutes does not require special equipment, and you can do it anywhere where you can find peace.
4. Eat Healthy Food
Nurses understand the significance of following a healthy diet, yet they often ignore and savor fried and processed food items. Eating unhealthy food leads to health issues, makes you sluggish, and harms mental health.
You need to incorporate all the essential elements into your diet. Include green in your food and take adequate protein and carbohydrates. If you suffer from vitamin or iron deficiency, take supplements, but with doctors’ recommendation.
Similarly, staying hydrated keeps you going. You should keep a check on water intake. Following a balanced diet strengthens immunity and helps nurses maintain health.
5. Spend Time with Loved Ones
Nurses have packed schedules and hardly get time to spend with their loved ones. Your near and dear ones can work as fuel and give you positive energy. If you cannot meet them often, ensure that you FaceTime or call them regularly. Make plans with your friends and hang out at brunch or dinner during weekends. Mental health issues are common among nurses. Spending quality time with family or friends assists in building better psychological health and makes you mentally strong.
6. Go in Nature
Nature has a healing and calming effect. Nurses stay most of the time indoors and often do not get sufficient sunlight. Nurses must plan their day to spend some minutes in nature daily.
Take a walk in a park, and it will help you relax. On weekends, you can go to the beach to swim. Many nurses like gardening but ignore their passion because of busy schedules. Plant some trees, cycle in the woods, or sit on a bench in a garden. A few minutes in nature can have a remarkable calming effect on you.
7. Take Breaks
Take appropriate breaks during work to eat and relax. Nursing is stressful and overpowers you. Constantly running here and there makes you lose focus and affect your work.
Take small breaks to nourish your body and soul. Many nurses keep running here and there; thus, they often forget to take their snacks. Ignoring your needs may not have an immediate impact, but in the long term can harm you. Nurses also need vacations. Take a break from work and pamper yourself. You will feel energetic and content after a short break.
8. Maintain Cleanliness
Hygiene is of utmost importance. Nurses understand the significance of cleanliness; however, they may ignore proper sanitation because of busy schedules.
Nurses stay among patients; thus, higher chances of catching germs or viruses. Nurses must ensure washing hands frequently, regular sanitation, and wearing masks. Maintaining cleanliness also affects mental health positively and kills germs and bacteria.
9. Take Care of Safety Measures
Nurses deal with needles and other sharp tools day in and day out. Since they mostly have multiple tasks awaiting their attention, they neglect safety measures, consequently hurting themselves.
Ensure practicing safety measures at all times. Be alert when you handle needles or other medical tools. Similarly, wearing personal protective equipments is also essential as it saves you from catching germs.
The Bottom Line
Nursing is not like a walk in a park. It requires you to have nerves of steel, a strong presence of mind, effective communication, analytical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Nurses work hard and often put themselves at the backend, ensuring adequate treatment. However, neglecting one’s own health often leads to several health issues, resulting in poor patient outcomes. Nurses should understand that looking after their health is essential to leading a productive professional life.