11. Find Your Work-Life Balance
Nursing means dealing with difficult situations, so it is easy to become burnt out. Finding a balance can help reduce stress, which weakens the immune system. Nurses try to do things they enjoy to de-stress when they are not on shift whether it is gardening, taking a hot bath, meeting with friends or reading a book. Indulging in leisure activities helps to decrease fatigue.
Taking time for loved ones, having fun and relaxing can help create a balance. Emotional health is as important as physical health because nurses deal with patients, families, and colleagues in challenging situations. Nurses need to cultivate relationships with people who care for them and bring out the best in them. And this also means reducing contact with those who drain their energy.
A common saying is, “You can’t take care of others until you take care of yourself.” Nurses are human beings, not robots. So, to be effective, they need to make taking care of themselves a priority. That way, they will be strong and healthy enough to do what they need to do for their patients. It’s worth taking the time to remain healthy and happy. Also, humor can be a healthy way of coping.
Laughter reduces stress and increases your immunity. Carving out time for meaningful spiritual practices also helps when coping with the emotional stress of nursing ill patients. An hour of massage is equal to eight hours of rest. Nurses have found that spending time in a spa or massage center soothes their tense muscles and makes them feel relaxed. And lastly, going to a yoga class can also be beneficial.
12. Maintain Healthy Habits
Nurses may neglect routine checkups because they feel they don’t have time for them. But not going for recommended routine appointments may result in problems they could have avoided. All men and women should go for annual physicals, testing and check-ups. Women nurses need mammograms and pap smears, as well. Both male and female nurses must follow their doctor’s recommendations for other exams, such as colonoscopies, too.
Nurses should weigh themselves weekly. Many nurses are overweight because they tend to eat junk food rather than planning their meals. The nature of the profession means they have little time, so grabbing an unhealthy snack is the easiest way to cope. They need to catch any weight gain early before it becomes a problem. Maintaining high energy levels is important for nurses, so being overweight can make the job more difficult.
Smoking and excessive drinking are not advantageous for nurses who need strong immune systems and plenty of energy. Smokers are at risk of many different health complications. If nurses drink alcohol, they should do so in moderation. Otherwise, it can affect the standard of their work, as well as the care of their patients.
One of the roles of a nurse is to educate patients about their health. They get patients to think about what they are doing that could be detrimental to their health and then they help them make adjustments. Nurses who don’t follow and demonstrate the best health practices in their own lives will find educating patients difficult. How can they expect patients to do what they are not doing themselves?
These are the 12 ways nurses can stay healthy. Although each step is simple, they may take a bit of effort and time. However, successful nurses understand the role they play in improving the lives of patients on all levels. So to be the best nurse you can be, try these tips daily and consistently.