Nurses understand the significance of health-promoting activities such as healthy eating, maintaining healthy relationships, physical exercise, sleep hygiene, and stress management. This knowledge, however, may not be used by nurses themselves when it comes to looking after their own well-being. Nurses may fail to adhere to recommended guidelines when addressing things such as exercise and diet. Often things can get in the way of this, such as working long hours, which can contribute to burnout, health consequences, and job dissatisfaction.
As a nurse, numerous factors can be stressful. Whether they are helping on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic or studying towards a DNP, nurses have a lot to deal with. Earning a DNP degree can, for example, accelerate career growth and position individuals for several career paths. However, this can be challenging, especially if you are working and studying. This emphasizes how important staying healthy is for a nurse.
In a field that expects a lot from its employees, staying on top of their health is critical for nurses to ensure peak work performance. But, more importantly, living a healthy lifestyle is essential for a happy and fulfilling life. To do so, you must maintain not only physical health but also a sound mind and spirit.
As a nurse, you have daily contact with people and must make every interaction count. Each conversation or encounter with someone represents a significant opportunity to assist them in improving their health and well-being. For some, this may imply giving someone motivational advice about the importance of staying well. Others may help older people exercise in a nursing home or educate schoolchildren about healthy eating options. It is also about role modeling and providing individuals with the information, understanding, and potential tools they need to make lifestyle decisions. After all, how can we expect others to follow our advice if we are not following it ourselves?
So, how can a nurse stay fit and healthy to ensure they practice what they preach and always be on top of their game? Here are three basic ways.
Working odd hours and long shifts can be exhausting. A good night’s sleep is essential for proper brain functioning; it plays a significant role in our physical and mental health, and many of us do not get enough of it. A half-sleeping brain is unlikely to make the most timely and sound decisions, which is essential for a nurse when dispensing medication, assessing patients, and identifying critical changes. Sleep deprivation harms your metabolism, mood, memory, concentration, stress hormones, and immune system.
Good nutrition is a simple yet essential component of healthy behavior that can be easily incorporated into a nurse’s daily routine. Healthy food choices, for example, may aid stress management, weight maintenance, and energy levels.
Going to the gym after a long shift on your feet may seem like a waste of time, but it can help you recharge your batteries. Working out has been shown to reduce stress, increase energy, and help lose weight. If you haven’t already, join a local gym, yoga studio, or exercise group. Sign up with a friend to increase your chances of going and make it more fun! Regular exercise can make it easier to handle those long shifts.