Nursing can be a stressful profession- especially if you’re taking on a lot of shifts or working in a pressured environment. As a result, it becomes more important for you to take care of your physical and mental well-being. This not only allows you to feel your best and reduce stress, but also to be able to support, motivate, and encourage patients to do their best.
Taking care of your well-being doesn’t just involve exercise- it’s a combination of physical exercise, healthy eating, getting enough rest, and implementing mental health care, too. Read a few tips below that we’ve found helpful for busy nurses.
Finding the time to exercise can be a difficult task, but once you’ve set a plan for yourself, it can be easier to implement. There are a few factors to consider when thinking about what works best for you that can help you to stay on track- Are you a morning or evening person? Does exercise tire you out and would therefore be better to have a short exercise regime after your shift to help you sleep? Would paying for an exercise class motivate you more? If none of these fit into your schedule, try out a few exercises that you can do at work:
- Take the stairs instead of the lift
- Speed-walk through the hallways
- Find a stable surface and do pushups or dips
- Perform lunges, squats, wall sits, and pushups
- Work with resistance bands during a break
Fueling your body with nutritious meals and snacks is very important for your health- if you don’t eat healthily, you can quickly run out of energy and increase food cravings that can both lead to health complications in the long run. General guidelines for healthy eating are that food choices should prioritize nutrients and particular food groups, eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, and protein, opting for low-fat options, and minimizing beverages and foods that are high in saturated fats, processed sugar, and sodium. A healthy eating schedule can easily be implemented if you stay motivated:
- Prepare healthy meals in advance
- Freeze healthy meals to save time
- Eat on a regular schedule
- Bring healthy snacks to work
- Avoid vending machines
- Avoid impulse buys at the cafeteria
- Make a meal plan
Mental health care
Providing patient care and spending large portions of your day making critical decisions can be emotionally and mentally taxing. Stress management allows you to counteract the tension and anxiety and improve both physical and mental well-being. Engaging in activities and surrounding yourself with people who help you to stay calm and relax your mind can go a long way to enhancing your mental health. There are a few ways that you can take care of your mental health at home and at work:
- Exercise guided mediation for 10-15 minutes
- Maintain a gratitude journal to recollect positive memories
- Practice deep breathing techniques
- Join a yoga class (or do it at home)
- Engage in fun activities that you enjoy
Physical and mental well-being are interconnected and equally crucial to maintain. Small changes can be easily implemented and eventually become a habit- the best way to stay motivated is to focus on how these changes make you feel. Be mindful of the benefits and that the added effort is worth it.
When you join a team that cares for your well-being, like Greenstaff Medical, you will be able to get assistance to maintain your well-being by easily requesting shifts that suit your needs, having dedicated support systems in place, and receiving healthcare benefits. If this sounds like something that you need, take a look at some of our jobs and connect with us to get started. We look forward to hearing from you!