Nurses who prioritize their wellness and take care of themselves can perform their jobs better. They are less prone to missing work and incurring expenses on health-related activities.
Nurses always lament how busy they are in their work, preventing them from making time for themselves. But one thing they overlook is that the combination of constant work and no break is a definite recipe for burnout.
When you work with people with various diseases and ailments, absorbing their pain is a must. A time comes when you are so emotionally frazzled that your ability to perform your daily tasks is compromised. You feel disinterested, drained of energy, and devoid of enthusiasm. This is what burnout is all about. Ignoring health and wellness ultimately steers you toward burnout. In nursing, burnout is widespread. Research shows that it is even causing countless nurses to quit their job.
Healthcare is already under pressure; it cannot afford its biggest workforce to quit because of unmanaged stress and burnout. Here are some effective tips for nurses to maintain wellness and keep burnout at bay.
- Exercise regularly
Regularly engaging in physical activity is the best thing you can do for your mental and physical health. As a nurse, your job often involves doing laborious tasks (lifting and supporting patients, etc.) that require physical strength. Physical activity maintains your physical strength by improving your muscle health. When you are healthy, you can focus on professional and personal development. You can enroll in training programs or study for a new degree online.
If you are ambitious about your profession and want to reach the apex of educational standards in nursing, you need to be healthy. After all, it is not easier to live up to the requirements of a degree, especially if it is an online DNP program—the terminal degree in nursing—geared toward preparing you for grander roles and responsibilities. It requires you to study long hours to pass assessments and exams; therefore, you need to have sound mental and physical health.
Daily physical activity can give you the mental and physical strength required to perform your job or work on your career development. Besides, evidence suggests that physical activity can enhance your academic performance. Engagement in physical activity improves your cognitive functions and brain health. Hence you can perform better.
- Eat healthy food
The positive effects of eating a healthy and balanced diet can never be considered flamboyant. A healthy diet provides the nutrients needed to stay rejuvenated throughout the day. Including the right type of nutrition is essential for the body’s growth and repair.
A nurse’s job’s physical and demanding nature requires them to be always fit and healthy. Eating a healthy diet and working out can help accomplish this goal.
Eating healthy foods helps nurses fight stress— an everyday part of their job—and maintain a healthy weight, allowing them to stay energetic. A healthy diet has near-instantaneous effects on how you feel. It improves your mood, making you happier and more interested in your job.
Nurses must make sure their food platter is very colorful. It should have a balanced portion of all the essential items such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, etc.
Eating a salad bowl daily is one of the best ways to have many essential nutrients on your platter. You can try other meal plans too. To do so, make a whole week’s diet plan on the weekend. You can grocery shop over the weekend and bring all the ingredients needed to make your daily meal.
- Make yourself feel special
Life is passing by, and often you are so engrossed in work that the present slips through your fingers unobserved. You squander the precious moments of your life without taking time for yourself. Reminiscing after some time makes you realize that you did nothing to enjoy life. In fact, you were going through a process. These thoughts can be frazzling, especially for a nurse who lives their life helping others, making their lives better. To avoid this hopelessness in your life, you must do something to make yourself feel special.
The self-fulfillment received through helping others is very powerful, but it is still not enough. You must treat yourself frequently and pamper yourself. Taking out personal time will make you more mindful and let you enjoy your day more.
If you believe thinking about yourself is selfish, you are completely wrong. If you don’t care for yourself, you won’t have a positive self-perception, ultimately affecting your confidence and work. So, treating yourself will indeed have a positive effect on your performance too.
There are endless options to treat yourself for the excellent work you do for others. Plan a spa day once a few weeks, go for a facial or meni-pedi session at your favorite salon, or watch your favorite movie in a theater.
Often taking out time for yourself might become a challenge. Nevertheless, it is essential to appear on duty daily with the same zeal and kindness you possessed on your first day.
- Have a pet
A pet brings many health and wellness benefits. Nothing can equal the joy you feel upon finding a loyal companion waiting for you at the doorstep. A pet can certainly be that dedicated and devoted companion for you.
Its unconditional affection can do more than give you good company. Caring for a pet relieves depression, hopelessness, and loneliness and improves mental and physical health. Research suggests that interacting with pets reduces cortisol— a stress-inducing hormone— and even lowers blood pressure.
The most important quality of a pet is that they easily attune to their keeper. Hence, they make you feel special. Some pets, especially dogs, understand what you say and perform the task. They are even great at sensing your mood and might as well provide emotional support. Just by looking at your eyes, they can tell what you feel and might even try to cheer you up with their cute gestures and tricks.
For a nurse, living a healthy lifestyle has many perks. A healthy lifestyle improves your mental and physical health. Ultimately, you feel more energetic, focused, and interested in activities around you. You also feel more adjusted to your work, and your performance improves. Taking time for self-care is challenging, but once you start witnessing its wellness effects, you might be more motivated to make necessary changes.