It is a nurses’ job to promote a healthy lifestyle among their patients and help them learn how to incorporate healthy changes in their routine. But nurses can use some of that advice for themselves, considering the tough shifts they have to work in. Changing shifts can be tough for nurses, especially if they’ve worked the same shift for a lengthy time. In that case, stress, fatigue, and work can lead to over-exhaustion. This causes burnout and leads to underperformance because of the stress of their routine, circadian rhythm, and activities.
Hence, when working a stressful routine like that of a nurse who has to work long shifts and fulfill numerous duties, your health often takes the back seat. It may sound convenient and normal to prioritize patients and work over your well-being. However, your health is directly related to your performance in a healthcare facility. Hence, let us discuss some points that can help you stay healthy.
1. Keep up with your routine
Routine is a crucial aspect of daily life that helps in promoting good habits and self-care. When you organize your daily time around your priorities, you can maintain a feeling of fulfillment and happiness with your daily productivity. For this reason, focus on maintaining a healthy daily routine that fixes your eating and sleeping schedule according to work and personal life requirements. Make a proper routine for your hobbies and studies as well as for other aspects of your personal life. For instance, enrolling in online DNP programs can ensure that you get enough time to study, work, and enjoy your personal life. Hence, you won’t have to get stressed regarding time management, and you will be more productive throughout the day.
2. Develop hobbies
It’s beneficial to have interests outside of work. Taking a break from worrying about what’s going on at the hospital will help alleviate tension and allow you to focus on other things. Hobbies are also a fantastic opportunity to meet new people and socialize with others to pick up a new skill, such as studying a language or musical instrument.
3. Exercise regularly
After a long day on your feet, going to the gym may seem redundant and taxing, but it can recharge your batteries.
Exercising has been shown to alleviate stress, boost energy, and keep weight under control. All these aspects help in preventing occupational burnout. For this reason, join the local gym, yoga class, or workout club if you haven’t already. Sign up with a friend to have a better chance of going and make working out more enjoyable. Not only that, but exercising can also help you lessen the strain on your muscles due to working hard during your shifts. Furthermore, exercising helps increase stamina, which can help you stay more active during your working hours.
4. Sleep properly
Having a good night’s sleep is essential. When you’re a nurse, every snooze is precious. Hence, maintaining a regular sleep schedule is essential to overall well-being. If your family, your roommates, or the noise of passing traffic wakes you up in the middle of the night, you may have a problem falling asleep. When you’re trying to get some shut-eye, consider donning some earplugs. If you work many night shifts, you may need to take some extra measures to ensure you get sufficient sleep. For this purpose, consider investing in some blackout blinds.
5. Drink plenty of water
A sufficient supply of water is essential to keep everything going. Doctors recommend drinking eight glasses of water a day. The Department of Health additionally explains that men should drink 13 cups of water while women should drink 9 cups.
There are a few ways you can enhance your water intake during your shift:
- Always keep a refillable water bottle nearby at all times.
- Get creative and add your favorite fruit to the mix for a refreshing twist on your favorite beverage without the added sugar!
6. Spend time with loved ones
In their efforts to aid others, nurses tend to overlook their own needs. Time for self-care is essential. In that aspect, some things that can help you unwind and recharge for the next shift include exercising and spending time with loved ones.
It’s critical to have someone you can talk to about work-related issues. It can be a friend, a family member, or a partner. It can also be a professional therapist. The person providing support after a difficult shift doesn’t always seem important but having someone to lean on during tough times can make all the difference.
7. Bring your own food items to the workplace
By carrying your meals to work, you can avoid making unhealthy food choices while at the facility and avoid overloading on fatty and carb-filled food.
The reason for that is eating after long working hours and overloading on carbs can put you under a “carb coma,” which essentially means that you will start feeling drowsy. But you can control your sugar, carb, and fat intake if you pack your own meals.
8. Maintain a clean personal hygiene routine
When is the right time to take a bath? Is it before or after your shift? Both have their advantages and motivations for nurses to use them. Taking a shower or bath before starting your shift is a great way to start your day off on the right foot. It is also important to wash off any microbes you’ve encountered throughout your shift by taking a shower afterward.
Perform the essential safety procedures and standards while on duty. When it comes to becoming a nurse, you need to stay alert for bacteria and avoid spreading them around. Develop a habit of washing your hands and using sanitizers to enhance this basic chore. This routine will help avoid germ transfer from the hospital to your living space and reduce the chances of getting sick.
Nursing is a demanding job; therefore, it’s important to remember to take care of oneself from time to time. It’s nice to reward yourself for your hard work by treating yourself to a salon day, taking a weekend getaway, or purchasing something you’ve been eyeing. But keep in mind that a healthy routine consists of small steps that can make all the difference in your health. Hence, focus on incorporating healthy habits in your routine one by one, and you will start seeing the difference in your health immediately.