In a giving profession, you need some TLC yourself!
Is there any profession that is more giving than the nursing profession? Nurses are the unsung heroes who improve the lives of others every minute of every day! If you are in nursing school or working in the nursing field right now, the Salter School of Nursing and Allied Health wants to show our appreciation!
Nurses work hard every day, spending most of their shifts on their feet, and making important decisions both small and large that affect the care of their patients. This line of work can be very personally gratifying, but at the same time, it can take a physical and mental toll if you’re not careful. To help avoid nursing burnout, here are some tips for the self-care and pampering that you deserve!
1. Choose the right shoes and socks
Nurses who are on their feet all day can develop issues with their feet, legs, and backs over time. To be good to your body, spend a little extra money to buy high-quality shoes and socks. Make sure you rotate your shoes too, so that you are not putting pressure on the same pressure points every day.
2. Take stretch breaks
During your break time, or even during the walk between patients, be sure to give your muscles a stretch. This can help alleviate pressure or tightness that builds up as you’re bending over to tend to patients. For suggested stretches, try the Mayo Clinic’s Guide to Basic Stretches.
3. Practice stress-relievers at work and at home
A day in the life of a nursing professional can be busy, but there are some stress-relief tools that can be used on the job. Try these tips:
- Do deep breathing exercises (slow and deep breathing)
- Find something to laugh at every day
- Get adequate sleep, good nutrition, and regular exercises
- Talk with other nurses about your stressors
- Keep a journal to give voice to the things that make you stressed
- Focus on the positive, not the negative
- Take your breaks and use them to unwind
4. Stay at a healthy weight
Maintaining a healthy weight has a great number of health benefits for everyone, but it’s particularly important for nurses or other professionals who are on their feet all day. Any extra weight that you gain is more pounds that you carry with you every day. The extra weight can take a toll on your feet and back.
5. Stock up on healthy foods
Depending on the time of your shift, it can be hard to fit in a healthy meal, and you might end up picking up fast food on your way to or from work. To avoid falling into the fast-food habit, try to stock up on healthy portable meals that you can prepare easily before or after work. Many people find that wholesale or club retailers are a good place to find these types of food.
6. Practice good sleep hygiene
If you work a swing shift or a night shift, it can be difficult to get on a regular sleep schedule. Use good sleep hygiene techniques as much as possible. If you need to sleep during the day, try suggestions such as room-darkening shades, a white noise machine, and a pre-sleep routine that is calming and relaxing.
7. Make time for exercise
After a long day at work, you might feel like exercise is the last thing you want to do. However, regular exercise is very important to your physical and mental health! Aim to exercise at least three times per week. If you do, you will be amazed at how much energy you have!
8. Pamper your feet
Your feet are important to your ability to do your job, so show them a little attention! Get a foot massage and a pedicure. Or soak your feet in a warm bath with Epsom salts. When at home, prop up your feet whenever you can.
9. Make some “you” time every day
It’s no secret that the job of a nurse is one of the most selfless jobs you can have. But nurses need time for themselves too! Be sure to schedule in a little “me” time every day, even if it’s just watching a show you enjoy, talking to a friend, or taking a quick walk. Everyone needs time to decompress!
For men and women living in the Manchester, NH area, consider getting trained for a career in nursing at Salter School of Nursing and Allied Health. To request more info, contact us online.