Now more than ever, self-care for nurses can’t be emphasized enough as a high priority. Below you’ll find a round-up of advice from nurses.
Take stock of your own dietary habits and make informed choices that promote optimal health.
Always eat some kind of breakfast, preferably protein and low carb (you’ll avoid that mid-morning slump.
Don’t check email or social media or use a computer or tablet before bed We know… it’s hard). Give yourself at least an hour to wind down before sleep.
Try to get 7 hours of sleep each night.
We know that your day could be jammed, but there are plenty of 15-minute opportunities in a day, and there are plenty of 15-minute quick workouts that you could do. Regular exercise improves cardiovascular function, produces endorphins in the brain that result in improved mood, strengthens muscles, and improves tone.
How are you caring for your spirit? Do you engage in spiritual renewal? A renewal experience is doing something you enjoy like a walk in nature or a hobby. Use that time to reflect and recharge.
To increase strength, endurance, and body tone, take 15 minutes to practice yoga. You don’t need to venture away from home to establish a regular practice. All you need is a yoga mat and some floor space to get started. There are online videos and apps to guide you through your practice. Yoga practice consists of different postures, referred to as asanas. During a practice session, you’ll use your breath to help guide you through the different postures, and you’ll focus on using core strength to move energy through your body.
Sing in the privacy of your car or the shower. Sing uplifting and inspirational songs that emphasize self-empowerment. Or download songs on your phone and sing along or listen on your break. Music reorganizes the brain and the messages sung are uniquely remembered.
Listen to music on the way home from work. It helps make that transition and you’ll arrive home more relaxed.
Nurses may not follow recommended preventive and screening practices for a multitude of reasons. Shift work, long hours, limited paid time off, and an unpredictable schedule make it difficult to schedule appointments. As caregivers to the core, the needs and activities of our children, spouses, and parents become our focus during our non-working hours, and our own health care needs tend to take a backseat. But, in order to take care of our patients, as well as our families, we must make our own health a priority.
Read more at “Protect yourself so you can continue to protect others.”