Prioritizing patient needs, saving lives, and dedicating a big portion of one’s day to taking care of patients is what happens in a nurse’s life every day. Their long working hours are exhausting, and the job description is incredibly demanding. This challenging profession can lead to fatigue, frustration and even burnout as a nurse.
As a result, nurses must also look for themselves just as they do for their patients. They must find ways to promote their health and prioritize self-care. Following are a few ways nurses can cope with job stress and boost their wellness.
1. Herbs and spices for promoting wellness:
Even though nurses and other medical professionals are science people, no one can deny the importance of good old herbs and natural remedies. Herbs and spices not only make your food taste delicious, but they come with massive health benefits as well. The right herbs and spices rich in phytochemicals help reduce damage to your body’s cells and fight inflammation.
For instance, turmeric is a spice that is considered a nutritional powerhouse. Its active ingredients, such as curcumin, are beneficial for cancer-related inflammation and arthritis. Similarly, we know rosemary is a popular herb. Still, we don’t know that this tasty herb helps reduce heart attack risks and improves blood vessel health.
2. Properly eating the right fruits, vegetables, and nuts:
Understandably, nurses don’t have much time on their hands to take care of themselves. They may not be paying much attention to what they eat, especially if they are pursuing a career and education at the same time. Many nurses tend to go for higher education, such as a terminal degree in nursing and DNP programs to elevate their careers.
However, that does not mean they should overlook their health, especially when eating healthy. Nurses should be aware of the necessity of including fruits, vegetables, and nuts in their daily diet. There are many easy ways nurses can add fruits and nuts to their plate, such as:
• Adding veggies to the sandwich
• Opting for milkshakes and smoothies instead of soft drinks
• Topping cereal with fruits and nuts
• Add nuts to grain-based side dishes
• Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables
• Boil, stir-up, or stir fry your veggies
3. Regular exercise for wellness:
One of the reasons you are fatigued is that you aren’t engaging your body in healthy activities like exercising. Physical activities provide numerous advantages, including increased mental health, weight control, blood sugar control, and improved focus. These are essential for a nurse.
Exercise also helps manage stress, enhancing your mood by increasing endorphins. Every nurse should have access to an onsite gym or activity room to work out and increase their energy levels. For instance, aerobic exercise improves lung health and boosts the cardiovascular system, while regular exercise can reduce feelings of fatigue.
4. Meditation plays a vital role:
There are many forms of meditation, but the primary purpose of meditation is to focus one’s mind and explore the feeling of relaxation. According to a study published in the 2014 journal of JAMA Internal Medicine, trials were conducted to determine the relationship between depression and anxiety and meditation. The results showed moderate evidence of meditation reducing the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Meditation can help develop that much-needed positive energy, awareness of yourself, focus, and self-discipline to tackle burnout and stress for a stressful job such as nursing. Meditation also promotes emotional health, mental health, improves sleep, and decreases blood pressure.
5. Healthy sleeping habits:
Sleep is our basic need, just as food and water are. Lack of sleep can negatively affect your performance and your health. You’d be surprised to know that multiple studies suggest that the person who has been awake for more than 17 hours has the same performance as that of someone with alcohol intoxication.
Productivity and concentration are key traits of every nurse’s successful day, but that can only come when you have almost 7 to 8 hours of sleep a day. Nurses should remember that sleep deprivation can have fatal consequences on their practice. Therefore, it’s best to have frequent breaks, take naps whenever possible, and follow a realistic schedule.
6. Pay attention to destressing and relaxing:
It’s productive that you are ambitious and passionate about your career. However, being over-ambitious can sometimes take a toll on your health. You must remember that healthcare is a field where mistakes and errors have grave consequences.
Someone who is fatigued, tired, and distracted is likely to make mistakes. Relaxing is as vital as working, and that is why you must develop ways to take your mind away from work and indulge in things you love to do. Take time to focus on yourself, your hobbies, or simply anything that relaxes you.
7. Use vitamins and minerals:
Nurses barely have time to eat proper meals in their exhausting schedule, let alone boost their health. Therefore, one of the best ways to ensure that you are taking enough nutrients is to take vitamins and minerals.
Your body needs essential nutrients like vitamin A, B, C, D, B12, and minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, etc., to perform essential functions and boost the immune system. As a result, nurses should pay attention to their health, consume all vital vitamins and minerals regularly, and eat a nutritious diet.
The nursing profession is demanding, and with workplace challenges, it can become hard to take care of your health. To ensure they perform their best every day, nurses must take significant steps to promote their health and wellbeing. They should improve their mental and physical health through proper diet, natural remedies, and healthy physical activities.