6 Tips for Nurses to Maintain Their Health and Wellness
Long shifts, work-life imbalance, and stress come with the job description for nurses. When nurses work day and night to provide top care to patients, they tend to overlook their own in the process. As healthcare professionals, nurses must understand the importance of staying in good health. Since healthcare is a demanding job, nurses should build their dedication to wellness and improved health. To give their patients a safe experience and increase the standards of care, nurses must first ensure that they are in excellent physical and mental shape. Want to know how you can do that easily? Here are a few tips for nurses to improve their health and mental well-being.
#1. Maintain a Fitness Routine
It may seem like a long shot trying to maintain or even think about doing a fitness routine. However, it may be the best thing you can do for your health. The nursing profession is physically demanding. Nurses strive to give their patients the best, but that can sometimes take a toll on their physical wellbeing. Exercising or working out is one of the best ways to teach your body to endure the challenges related to the nursing field.
Indulging your body in healthy physical activities will increase energy, help control stress, and give a much-needed stamina boost. Also, not every nurse faces the same situation. Some are required to perform more intricate and strenuous tasks than others.
Moreover, mentally and physically fit nurses have a chance to upgrade themselves by opting for a higher-level degree. To choose the right degree program, they can compare DNP vs NP over the internet to decide which one suits them. It allows them to take their careers to the next level.
#2. Don’t Compromise on Sleep
Do not make the common mistake of taking your sleep for granted. Getting a sufficient amount of sleep is one of the most important things for promoting good health. Nurses don’t always have the luxury of getting the recommended amount of sleep. However, you may prioritize it whenever you can.
Don’t waste those precious hours on screen time or doing unnecessary things. The lack of sleep can lead to many physical and mental issues. A sleep-deprived nurse is at risk of making medical errors and compromising on patient care. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep, especially between stressful shifts, to avoid the risk of chronic health problems.
#3. Keep a Lookout for Your Mental Health
It is critical for healthcare professionals like nurses to look out for their mental health. Nursing can slowly deplete a person if mental health issues like anxiety, work-related stress, depression, etc., are not addressed at the right time. Don’t let yourself get emotionally and mentally exhausted and take those much-needed mental breaks.
It’s a good idea to practice a few mental refreshers like yoga, breathing exercises, meditation, or simply stepping out of the hospital for fresh air. It is vital for nurses to monitor their mental health and check on stress triggers to avoid quick burnout. When all else fails, nurses should remember that they can always seek professional help.
#4. Focus on a Healthy Diet
It may sound a bit cliched every time someone says that a healthy diet is a solution to all your problems. Maybe to not all issues, but it is the solution for poor health. Nurses should focus on a diet that addresses key health issues such as chronic inflammation. Research shows that chronic inflammation can lead to anxiety, fatigue, depression, and even body pain. Fortunately, a simple change in your diet, such as taking an anti-inflammatory diet, can help reduce inflammation. You should include foods like leafy vegetables, nuts, fish, berries, etc., in your daily diet.
You can avoid highly processed food, sugar, and even too much caffeine. A healthy diet does not necessarily mean salad. It simply involves cutting out food that makes you lazy and slow. For instance, excessive caffeine consumption can contribute to sleep deprivation. Therefore, avoid poor diet choices, eat at the right time, and invest in making your own meals.
#5. Stay Hydrated
When it comes to your overall wellness, drinking plenty of water is an excellent way to start. Nurses can often lose track of their water intake between long working hours. However, you must drink at least 8-oz glasses of water each day. According to the Institute of Medicine, the adequate water intake for women is 9 cups and for men is 13 cups. Though we can’t always keep up with the recommended amount, nurses should pay extra attention to their water intake to tackle physically intensive work. Set your beginning mark and work towards it by always keeping a water bottle close to your workstation.
#6. Cultivate Healthy Work and Personal Relationships
Your health and wellness don’t always have everything to do with what you eat and how much you sleep. Sometimes, cultivating healthier and better relationships both at work and personally play an essential role in promoting overall health. Since nurses spend most of their time in the hospital, they have most of their daily interactions with other doctors and nurses.
Therefore, ensure that you interact with positive people and try maintaining healthy interactions with all your colleagues. Don’t invest time and energy into toxic relationships, and spend time with people who make you feel happy, productive. Not only with your colleagues, but nurses must have good relationships outside of work as well. It’s a good idea to have family gatherings once in a while or cool hang out with friends outside of work.
The nursing profession is incredibly tough, demanding, and challenging. It requires immense physical and mental energy to deal with the stress and pressure of providing quality patient care. Long working hours can lead to health deterioration which is not an option for an ambitious nurse.
That is why nurses should take self-care seriously and invest time and energy into promoting their health. The above pointers are a great way to maintain a healthy lifestyle without compromising on work. Pay attention to what your body is saying and try to set health goals.