There’s undoubtedly nothing like the satisfaction that arises from helping others get better and achieve good well-being. Nursing is one of those career choices where your actions directly aid in saving lives and fueling patients’ health. It is the most gratifying profession, especially for people who enjoy helping others.
However, working as a nurse can be challenging. From long work hours to unpredictable schedules, expectations from nurses can be overwhelming, and the job can get physically and mentally taxing. Unsurprisingly, so many nurses report having experienced burnout, especially in the past three years, when you consider the effects of a global pandemic and the additional stress it placed on healthcare professionals.
Therefore, self-care is crucial for nurses because it can lower stress levels, refuel their ability to show empathy and compassion, and enhance the general standard of care. Developing a self-care practice can help nurses avoid burnout and improve their wellness. A few self-care tips for new nurses entering the healthcare industry include:
Many people often overlook the benefits of meditation. However, meditating daily for at least 15-20 minutes can significantly benefit your mental and physical well-being. Meditation helps nurses gain a new perspective on stressful situations, increase self-awareness, reduce negative emotions, and increase patience and tolerance.
You can meditate anywhere, whether taking a stroll around your neighborhood or relaxing on your porch. First, however, you should be fully honest with yourself and ask how you feel during that period and how you can feel better.
In today’s time, nursing self care has become crucial to avoid burnout and other health complications. Hence, prioritizing it is a must.
Working out is an excellent self-care tip for nurses. According to science, exercise helps the body deal with stress and enhances mood and health. Many kinds of physical activity exist, including yoga, running, swimming, and muscle tensing/relaxation methods. However, nurses must select the physical activity that suits them the best.
Exercising improves sleep quality, improves immunity, enhances focus, provides pain management, and increases the quality of life. Moreover, working out every day for at least 20-30 minutes can help nurses manage stress more effectively, encourage better relationships, increases energy levels, remain active, and makes them more capable of practicing better patient care.
Get adequate sleep
Sleeping well is essential for good health. As mentioned above, a nurse’s job is exhausting, and if nurses don’t look after themselves properly, they can feel worn out and exhausted.
Improving your sleeping habits is the best way to avoid constantly feeling tired. Establish a consistent sleeping routine, ask people not to disturb you, make your bedroom night-friendly, nap strategically, and forgo electronics at least 2-3 hours before bedtime.
Getting adequate sleep gives you the extra strength to stay healthy at work. In addition, sleeping well helps you maintain a healthy weight, reduces stress, improves mood, enables you to think more practically and make better decisions, and get along with people better.
Start a journal
Journaling can be an excellent way for nurses working in hectic workplaces to process their thoughts and lower stress levels. Writing something down frequently enables your brain to forgo whatever is on your mind without triggering an anxious feedback loop. For journaling to be a proper self-care technique, you don’t need to write a lot—even a few phrases at the end of each day can make a significant difference.
Journaling gives you a chance to express your feelings and become more self-aware. It is also a tried-and-true method for gaining perspective and achieving a greater level of health and wellness, which affects nurses directly and, in turn, all the people they offer care to. Moreover, according to research, journaling is crucial for sharpening one’s critical-thinking abilities. Nurses can journal to investigate broad observations, inquiries, speculative assertions, synthesis statements, and changes in previously held beliefs.
Good and healthy food provides energy for the body, and proper eating is considered the highest form of physical self-care practice. In addition, your physical health and other areas of well-being feel balanced because of a well-balanced diet. For example, a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, proteins, and healthy fats helps control blood sugar levels and improves concentration and emotional stability.
Eating healthy helps nurses reduce stress, positively influences their health, and results in better care for patients and themselves.
Although maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial for everyone, nurses have the power to affect the patients they often engage with. Patients are more likely to comply when nurses advocate for a healthy lifestyle. A nurse must put those principles into practice in their daily activities.
It will help if you recognize your impact as a nurse, even though you don’t have a duty to be the ideal example of healthy living. If you put what you preach into practice, you might significantly influence other people’s lives.
Consider doing a digital detox
You may not realize it, but constant technological interaction can be stressful. In our modern age, many technologies are easily accessible. While the digital world offers many benefits, overuse can have adverse psychological effects. As with other forms of self-care, a healthy balance is essential for psychological well-being. It tells us when to turn back. As part of mindfulness, consider reducing your time on social media, television, or video games.
Take time away from work and rest
Many nurses accumulate vacation time while never taking time off from work. While it’s admirable to be committed to your career, it’s also crucial to take some well-earned time off, at least a few weeks each year, to give yourself a break from patient care demands. Planning a trip also provides you with something to look forward to, which can assist you in maintaining focus on those days when work presents you with a barrage of difficulties.
For nurses, self-care is paramount. As caregivers, they often put the welfare of others first, sometimes ignoring their own needs. Self-care activities allow nurses to recharge, reduce stress, and prevent burnout. Taking time to relax, indulging in hobbies, practicing mindfulness, and leading a healthy lifestyle are important parts of self-care. It enhances their physical, emotional, and psychological well-being, improving job satisfaction, patient care, and overall resilience. By investing in self-care, nurses can remain passionate about their work, maintain their health, and continue to provide quality care.