For nurses being on the frontline all the time, taking care of their patients, and ensuring they get exceptional service is rewarding. The reward is the self-satisfaction nurses feel at the end of a hectic shift. But this feeling of self-fulfillment is not without any cost—which is their health.
Nursing is a very challenging and demanding profession. Many nurses ignore their health and well-being because all their time is spent in the hospital.
For many nurses, the stress of work is becoming impossible to handle. So, they find no quick solution other than quitting the job.
Work pressure and burnout are causing one-third (34%) of nurses to relinquish their job at the year-end. It is high time nurses realize the price of not striking a balance between their life and work.
If nurses cherish their profession and don’t want to fall prey to burnout, they must take steps for self-care to counter their work’s negative effects on their life. Below are some smart and easy ways for nurses to stay healthy and fit.
- Combat professional monotony
Your profession gets monotonous when you are doing the same tasks every day. Professional monotony reduces career satisfaction; you feel bored to tears, disinterested, and sometimes stressed about performing your duties.
As a nurse, professional redundancy can be very dangerous for your patients as you tend to make more mistakes. One of the easiest ways to curb professional monotony is by pursuing a higher education program.
For instance, RNs can enroll in RN to BSN programs. Search RN to BSN programs near me on Google, and you will have a list of options about institutes offering this program near your location.
A higher education program will provide new skills and knowledge. The challenge of learning concepts and implementing them on your job will enliven your professional curiosity, which is the antithesis of professional boredom.
- Take breaks
Taking small breaks during your busy schedule during the day can do wonders for your mental and physical health. Adults have a ninety-minute core ultradian rhythm or focus cycle. It means that your brain can only engage in intense high-frequency activity for ninety minutes. After that, your brain reduces its focus on the tasks and demands rest.
Have a break after working for ninety minutes during your shifts so that your brain can regain its vitality and strength. Find a quiet corner in the hospital; it can be the store where you keep supplies or anywhere you can have peace for a few minutes. Try to block all the thoughts in your mind and clear out all the fog of stress. When you return to duty after this period, you will see a change in your demeanor, focus, and interest in work.
- Stay close to nature
For nurses, it is quite possible to get engrossed in their work and forget about the clock moving from Am to Pm.
Not spending enough time with mother nature often causes you to feel stressed and exhausted.
There is enough research evidence suggesting the relationship between exposure to nature and stress relief. Sitting under the sun, feeling the fresh breeze lightly stroking your face, and listening to birds chirping in the trees is the best stress-relief therapy. So, when the pressure of work gets unbearable, find sanctuary in the company of Mother Nature.
- Practice your hobby
Most of your time as a nurse is spent in the hospital, so if you like reading books, listening to music, browsing, or drawing, do that during the break. Practicing your hobbies relaxes your body and reduces fatigue. So, use the breaks your get wisely.
Hobbies can be of many types, and if you don’t have one, it is high time you have one. Do anything convenient and not prohibited by the hospital administration (don’t bring your fluffy friend).
Remember, it is your self-care time, so you are not allowed to think about how a patient performs or other associated things. If you cannot leave your work during this time, there is no point in practicing your hobby as you won’t enjoy it.
- Have your own ritual
Having a ritual and rhythm in life bestows comfort. So, make a morning and evening routine. Perhaps enjoying a frothy cup of coffee or having a wholesome breakfast in the morning helps you prepare for your job.
Or you like to walk to your apartment after your shift ends; emptying your uniform’s pockets and cleaning your rooms signals the end of your day.
Not everyone has the same ritual, so do what suits you best. For some, having a night-time skincare regime helps, while others find solace in watching a movie.
However, avoid huddling up with your colleagues at day end and talking about the patients you handled; it will add to the stress you already have from work.
Having a regime to follow helps you have a work-life balance, enjoy your work, make fewer mistakes, and show more interest in work.
- Socialize with your loved ones
Nurses don’t find much time to socialize and have fun with their friends and family. They only have the chance to socialize on off days and sometimes after their shift ends.
As a nurse, you must utilize every opportunity to connect with people you love and admire. Band together at any eatery of your choice, eat (healthy food) together, and chatter—plan for movies and concerts, hiking, and adventurous trips to have the experience of your life.
When you have a meet-up, never bring up work. It is your time, and you should enjoy it as such. If ignoring work is impossible, try to spend time with people not from work. You need fresh air in your life every now and then, which is impossible if you can’t disengage yourself from work.
Staying fit and healthy is not limited to eating a healthy diet and exercising. While those ways are essential, there is a lot you can do as a nurse to have a healthy lifestyle. Some smart ways to stay fit mentally and physically are mentioned above. Explore them to get inspiration.