Health & Wellness

Top 9 Smart Ways for Nurses to Stay Healthy and Active

Nursing is a profession that deals with caring for people and helping them heal from sickness to maintain the best of their health. Nurses are different from other healthcare professionals because of the broader scope of their work and method. They advocate, protect, promote and optimize human health to lessen physical or mental sickness.

Nurses work relentlessly and help identify patient needs wherever there is a need for attention. Nursing can be described as an art and a constantly evolving science about society’s needs. Its uniqueness allows the professional and personal growth of nurses. They ensure patients get the best care regardless of who they are or where they are.

There are different types of nurses. They rely on their level of education and role in the health service team. They include nursing assistants, instructors, midwives, licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, and nurse anesthetists.

In addition, registered nurses can practice in cardiovascular, oncology, or mental health fields. Other than hospitals, there are various workplaces where nurses can work, like government services, research facilities, home care services, and schools.

The fundamental aim of professional nursing practice is to provide quality care for everyone in need. For this purpose, nurse practitioners must have the necessary credentials and training to follow the ethical code of conduct and standards and continue professional development and education.

In most countries around the world practice of nursing is regulated by state law to maintain standards. There are various nursing certifications to become a registered nurse.

The standard course learning is a four-year program followed by a master’s degree. Online nursing certification is also available for distance learning and saves time and money. A program like the MSN nurse practitioner online is an excellent choice for people with other jobs or responsibilities who cannot attend campus-based programs.

An online nursing certification can help nurses maintain a healthy balance between work and studies—online certification courses are as challenging as campus-based courses.

They need a lot of self-motivation and organization. The training to become a certified nurse practitioner is lengthy and requires a dedicated investment of time and energy.

Nurse practitioners are always on the frontline, working day and night to offer complete care and attention to sick people. They often overlook self-care.

How to stay Healthy as a Nurse

They have a high risk for non-communicable diseases and physical, mental, and emotional stress. Here are a few ways to keep themselves healthy and active:

1. Sleep

Sleep deprivation may cause severe chronic health implications. Nurses must prioritize their sleep to keep their bodies healthy and active while treating and caring for patients—the recommended sleep for adults is7 to 9 hours. Sleep is the key to active brain and body function between shifts.

2. Hydrate

Water is essential for our overall health, and nurses may lose track of their water intake between long shifts. However, they must drink at least 8 oz of water every day and should pay extra attention to keep themselves hydrated.

A bottle near their workstation could be an excellent start to making a mark and keeping them energized and alert.

3. Eat healthily

Maintaining healthy eating habits while working as a nurse is difficult since there is an increased risk of metabolic problems due to long work hours and sleep deprivation, but nurses must eat healthily.

They should avoid sugary items and junk food. Proteins, greens, and vegetables should be a part of regular meals. For snacks, healthier options like fruits, nuts, or energy bars can be wise choices.

Smaller frequent meals give steady energy throughout the day. Also, preparing meals at home can control what you eat and save time and money.

4. Exercise

Nurses need to adopt a consistent exercise routine. Working tirelessly, especially on night shifts, may increase the risk of chronic back pain, heart disease, and other health conditions.

On the other hand, regular exercise that includes cardio, strength, and resilience training can help sustain a healthy weight and improve mood and mental stability.

5. Wear comfortable shoes

Nurses are always on the move, caring for patients for long hours while standing. It may weaken the veins by increasing pressure, resulting in a  painful condition called varicose veins. Wearing shoes designed to stimulate reflexes and promote healthy blood flow can be beneficial.

6. Adopt Hobbies

Engaging in something that makes us happy and content can be a valuable tool to reduce anxiety, work-related pressures, and depression. It does not necessarily have to be extensive and time-consuming. Small things like reading books, cooking, or gardening can be beneficial.

7. Prioritize mental health

Nurses must look out for their mental health. If not addressed timely, issues like stress, anxiety, and depression can slowly deteriorate a person’s mental health. Yoga, meditation, and breathing exercises help to keep oneself from draining psychologically and physically.

8. Maintain Healthy Relationships

It is essential to have healthy interactions with positive people as it promotes well-being and overall health. It is a good idea to have frequent get-togethers with family and friends. Take out more time for relationships to lead a satisfied and healthy.

9. Limit stress

Work stress in nursing is inevitable, but work-related tensions, burnouts, and distractions can subside through certain self-care practices, meditation, and journaling- you can achieve a happier and calm state of mind. Practicing gratitude can also help limit stress.

Bonus Tip: Plan a vacation

Taking some time off from work to go on a vacation can make you happy, let you reconnect with friends and family, relieve stress, and consequently improve overall health; most importantly, it can be a lot of fun too.

After enjoying a fun vacation, you can return to meet the demands of your job and care for your patients with a refreshed and peaceful mind.

Conclusion

Several years of studying and training, long work hours, work-life imbalance, and physical and emotional stress all come with the job description of a nurse. It can be challenging and demanding to deal with this stress and pressure and provide patient care. As a result, nurses tend to compromise their health while caring for others.

Therefore, they should take self-care seriously and invest more time and energy to stay healthy because, as healthcare professionals, nurses are the ones who realize the significance of good health. Therefore, they need to practice self-care and remain in good shape physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Dr Maria

MD. Board Certified physician. Fellowship In Family Medicine UK. 8 years of medical experience in Lifestyle-related health disorders. Graduated from AIIMS – All India Institute Of Medical Science, INDIA

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