Nursing is a profession that relies heavily on the body for performance. As such, it is wise to take care of your body and stay aware of risks to your body and mind.

Nurses are important in society; they are the caregivers that fight disease, protect the safety of patients, and nurses provide emotional support to patients during difficult times. It can be stressful working with these high stakes on a daily basis.

However, there are many things nurses can do in their personal lives which can help them balance they’re work-life better and keep them healthy – both physically and mentally.

The Role Of A Nurse In Keeping Patients Safe

It is common for nurses to be working 12-hour shifts without a break. Nurses can be in the hospital or alone in an ambulance, so they are not always able to take breaks during their shift. On top of this, they must take care of themselves and sleep in order to maintain a healthy mental and physical state. 

Though many nurses have developed coping mechanisms during extended shifts, it can still take a toll on their bodies if they do not take proper care of themselves. Part of the training of nurses, whether it be on the job or through accelerated bsn online programs, is on resilience and managing workload.

How To Stay Healthy As A Nurse And Protect Your Career

Many nurses develop unhealthy sleep habits and suffer from fatigue because they are not aware of how to take care of themselves properly. 

There are many things nurses can do to protect their bodies and minds from the risks associated with the job. Here are some tips that can help.

Manage Your Stress Level

Managing stress levels as a nurse is vital. The best way to reduce stress is to learn coping mechanisms that help one to remain calm and focused. 

One of the best ways to do this is through mindfulness exercises. Finding ways to get more in touch with yourself and your emotions is a great way to reduce stress levels. 

Examples are:

  • Meditate – take time off during a shift and simply focus on your breath. This allows you to separate yourself from the chaos around you, which can reduce stress levels significantly.
  • Plan Self-Care Days – take some time off during your day off to do something for you. It could be an hour watching TV or a whole day at the spa!

Stay Organized And Timely

Staying organized with your time is important. There are so many things that must get done on a daily basis at work, which can make it difficult to keep up with everything. 

Staying organized with your time can help keep stress levels under control. To stay organized and be timely, try these tips:

  • Make A System – The best way to avoid losing objects is to have them clearly put away or kept in an easily accessible container.
  • Use The Pomodoro Technique For Studying – This technique is varied but a great way to spread your focus without burning out.

Keep Yourself Physically Active In Your Daily Routine

Being physically active is a great way to look after yourself and stay healthy. A nurse’s job is quite physically demanding anyway, but it’s important to work out all of the different areas of your body to avoid fatigue in one area.

To stay physically active and keep your body healthy, try these tips:

  • Go For A Run Or Walk With A Friend – Walking together will be much more enjoyable and help you appreciate seeing each other as well. 
  • Do Some Exercise – Aerobic exercise is a great way to keep the cardiovascular system healthy and improve muscle tone.
  • Learn An Instrument – Many nurses work with other healthcare professionals such as physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech pathologists who may provide a variety of opportunities to learn an instrument.

Eat Healthy Foods With Every Meal

By eating healthy foods, one has better control of the food that enters the body. A nurse’s job can be stressful and can take a toll on the body if done for long periods of time. 

Eating at least three healthy meals a day and staying aware of what you eat regularly, is one way to keep your body healthy. It also helps you keep tabs on your weight and maintain a healthy weight. 

Here are some great foods to include in your diet:

  • Avocado – This is a super healthy but fatty savory fruit. It works great as a standalone food or as part of a tasty salad.
  • Cashew Nuts – These little nuts are packed with healthy fats and help keep skin and hair healthy. They are easily available in most grocery stores.
  • Salmon – Due to the abundance of omega fatty acids, this fish is an excellent source of vitamin D which can be important for brain health. 
  • Scrambled Eggs – Eggs are a perfect food to add to any meal! They’re great for protein, but also contain many nutrients that help with general health.

Drink Plenty Of Water Everyday

Drinking more water can keep the body hydrated. The more water you drink each day, the more calls on your kidneys to filter out toxins in your body, which can help reduce stress levels and improve a nurse’s overall health.

Drinking at least two liters of water every day is recommended. If one does not have access to clean drinking water, then drinking from a filtered source is still beneficial because it helps remove many contaminants from the source.

Some ways to ensure you stay hydrated include:

  • Carry A Water Bottle – The best water bottles are the bottles with volume markers to help you track how much you have drank throughout the day. Another great option is the Water To Go bottle that will allow you to drink safe water from anywhere that isn’t salt water.
  • Use A Water Tracking App – Water tracking apps are the best way to stay on top of your water intake. It’s easy to drink water when you see how much water you are still working away at. 
  • Add Flavor To Your Water – Adding lime or lemon to your water is a great way to enhance the flavor and keep one hydrated at the same time.
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