Due to long shifts and high patient inflow, nurses don’t get the time to take care of themselves physically and mentally. However, it is not imperative, but it is recommended that healthcare providers take care of their health as a priority; otherwise, it might become difficult to sustain themselves in the health industry.
In an extreme healthcare institution environment, every healthcare giver should be at their optimal to avoid any misshape from happening; nurses also have to keep up with the pace while performing and giving their all. It can only be done if they are fit, active, and have a good work-life balance.
But how can they ensure a good work-life balance and healthy lifestyle? Let us look at the four ways nurses can maintain their wellness.
1. Create a work-life balance
Nurses begin the hustle from the moment they decide to pursue this career path. Balancing personal and professional life becomes difficult when you have long working hours. You might find yourself too exhausted to function by the time you get home. Such a schedule leaves no time for personal activities.
The balance may be even harder to achieve if you are also studying alongside your job. Being enrolled in a college physically eradicates the remaining chances you have for “me time.”
Such a scenario requires you to take the modern approach to study. For instance, you can opt for online learning. Suppose you are a registered nurse and thinking of doing MSN, it is better to go for online MSN programs rather than enroll in live traditional offline classes.
It will provide you with the same experience without making your schedule unmanageable. You can take classes whenever you are free at your own pace.
You also need to make time for your family and friends if they complain about you always being absent. Set a few ground rules for yourself to keep both your lives separate. Do not bring any work home. Do not discuss too much about your patients or work while spending time with your loved ones. Utilize this time to connect with them.
It is also wise to do activities you like every once. These can include painting, reading, or even taking a walk outside. All of this will keep you from getting stressed.
Proper food intake is crucial to maintaining a functional immune system. It helps us avoid immunodeficiency or micronutrient deficiency. However, nurses usually skip meals because of work. Regrettably, they sometimes forget to eat during emergencies and when there is a high influx of patients. A way of combating this issue is eating before the beginning of your shift. Having a loaded breakfast keeps you energized for a few hours.
As a nurse, your 30-minute break might only allow you to order takeout. Or you might find it more feasible to munch on some snacks to save time. Even though it will satisfy your hunger for the moment, it is very unhealthy if done frequently.
A solution to this problem is meal prepping. Pick a day of the week where you plan a menu and cook meals for the entire week. Place all food in an air-tight container and store them in the refrigerator. Then all you will have to do is pack it in your bag before leaving for work. Make meals that can last when frozen and can be heated.
It might seem like too much work initially, but the benefits outweigh the negatives of meal prepping. This way, you will not have to worry about preparing food every day. You are more likely to eat healthier when you already have a precooked meal.
3. Build an exercise routine
Running up and down the hallways must be exhausting for you as a nurse. You might even face soreness and shortness of breath sometimes. These issues can be avoided by training your body to get used to them. Exercising will allow you to stay fit and build stamina.
Patients view you as a standard of healthcare. So, begin to practice what you preach and form an exercise routine. Begin by deciding the best time for you to work out. It might be difficult for you to exercise after an exhausting shift. You should manage a short workout before you start your shift.
Some people prefer joining the gym to stay focused. If your schedule allows for a long workout, then a gym might be the best place to do it. Look for a fitness facility that is open 24/7 so you can go whenever you wish to. However, if the thought of joining a gym is too overwhelming, start at home.
Begin with exercises that help you build stamina. These can be squats, side planks, climbing, push-ups, and burpees. Later you can add other workouts that focus on increasing strength.
It is no surprise that nursing is a very emotionally draining job. Exercises have got your mental wellness covered too. On a stressful day, you can do yoga or go for a calming walk or a swim. These activities will help you calm down and think clearly.
4. Prioritize sleep
Sleepless nights in the nursing occupation are frequent. But its long-term results are dangerous. Sleep-deprived nurses are more likely to make mistakes at work. They are also prone to getting severely ill. Some illnesses resulting from the lack of sleep are diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular issues.
Sleep deprivation also leads to high irritability, stress, and anger. These conditions are not favorable for a profession like nursing. Hence, you must prioritize resting and sleeping.
To conclude, it is safe to say that no day is the same when you are a nurse. You do not know what to expect when on duty. But the uncertainty of this occupation makes it an exciting one. However, you need to be physically and mentally fit to take on the challenges. You have to think of your wellness if you want to serve in the healthcare sector. Hope the mentioned above tips help you in this regard.