There is a specific group of individuals that many nurses have failed to take care of. Yes, their job does take time, effort and dedication day in and day out, so much so that it’s very easy to miss something along the way. However, this doesn’t change the fact that some of these people have been neglected for far too long. Who am I referring to? The nurses, of course!
Nurses invest so much time in their patients, that it becomes a chore to look out for themselves. But when you place yourself in their shoes, it’s totally understandable. Working around a 12-hour shift is extremely challenging. Between traveling to work, sleeping and running everyday errands, there isn’t much time left to care for themselves.
So today’s tips are for the nurse or caregiver that has placed themselves at the bottom of their priority list. These items aren’t too time consuming and if they’re implemented regularly, you should start feeling better over a period of weeks.
Tip #1 – More Sleep
Don’t skip over this paragraph! I know that this probably is not the first time you’ve heard this, but it’s just as important as the following tips below! Too many of us forget the side affects of sleep deprivation. Yes, many of us desire more of it, but we’re not always strategic in how to get more. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 25% of the United States population struggles to maintain a sufficient amount of sleep each night. One of the best ways to begin a healthy sleep pattern, is to be deliberate. If you’re able to withstand the temptation, try to go to sleep 30 minutes to an hour earlier than you typically do. In order to do so, you’ll need to omit something from your everyday routine. It could be chatting on the phone, watching television or even spending to much time on social media. You should begin to see changes in your energy and your ability to get tasks completed.
Tip #2 – Purchase Appropriate Footwear
Nurses spend the majority of their shifts on their feet, so you would assume that buying comfortable shoes is common knowledge, but finding the right shoe can be a bit tricky. Scrubsmag.com suggests that the heel height should be somewhere between 0.71 and 1.42 inches with arch support. Nursetogether.com advises their readers to go shoe store that caters to runners. Sports stores can analyze the best shoe for you based on how you walk and the purpose of your shoe purchase. However, it’s important to confirm the dress code at the hospital or facility you’re working in first.
Who knew that just by speaking with a thankful mindset could change your health? Working long shifts can take a lot out of anyone, but meditating on positive things can help revitalize you as well as influence the people around you to do the same.
Tip #4 – Eat Well
What we consume has major affects on our bodies. Food is our fuel. We all know that filling your gas tank with water would be ridiculous, but many of us are just as carefree with what we fill up on. Vending machines, fast food restaurants and convenient stores can sometimes feel like our rescuers in times of trouble, but it’s rare if you can find something healthy to eat. If you’re desire is to have more than enough energy before, during and after your shift, you must be strategic in order to do so. Preparing meals at home is one of your best options. Pack snacks for when you’re hungry so that you have better alternative to turn to.
This is a reminder to all nurses that your health is just as important as the people you care for. These are just a few ways to take some time out to care for yourself, but there are several more! Take some time out to write down a “To Do,” List that will help you to relax and rejuvenate.
CDC – Sleep Home Page – Sleep and Sleep Disorders. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/sleep/index.html
Scrubs Magazine. (2016, September 26). Back Pain? Try These 4 Things | Scrubs Magazine – Nursing Life [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://scrubsmag.com/back-pain-try-these-4-things/
6 Tips for the Perfect Nursing Shoe [Web log post]. (2012, August 30). Retrieved from http://www.nursetogether.com/6-tips-perfect-nursing-shoe
NurseTogether.com. (2016, May 19). The Art of Self-Care: It’s Time to Cope with Nursing.. [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.nursetogether.com/art-self-care-its-time-cope-nursing-stress