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The Importance of Self-Care for Nurses
22 MARCH 2023

The Importance of Self-Care for Nurses

Being affiliated to the healthcare industry, most nurses put others first over themselves. Nurses have extremely demanding jobs, they work for long hours in stressful situations and are expected to offer optimal care to patients. In such situations, it is not uncommon for nurses to neglect their own self. Regardless of what the situation may be, it is important to take care of your overall wellbeing and health. This way, you can offer the best care to your patients.

If you are struggling with self-care, below are some self-care tips for nurses to help you prioritize on your wellbeing.

Get Enough Sleep

One way to focus on your health and wellbeing is through getting ample sleep. Nurses often work for long tedious hours and during that tenure, they have to constantly alter their sleeping pattern to accommodate themselves as per their shifts. Thereby, regardless of the shift schedule, getting enough sleep is pivotal for not only yourself, but also the wellbeing of your patients.

Try to sleep for at least seven to eight hours a day, and focus on building a sleep pattern so that your body adapts to a healthy sleeping pattern.

Eat a Healthy Diet

Nurses are used to working in high stress and fast paced environments, which makes it extremely difficult for them to make healthy food choices. Regardless, it is important to keep your body fueled with nutritious and healthy food options that keep your energy levels high and improve your overall health and wellbeing. Make fruits, lentils, whole grains, and lean proteins part of your diet. Try to avoid sugary and processed food as they can bring your energy levels down.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise releasing endorphins which helps in relieving stress, improves mood and your overall health and well-being. Working as a nurse, you are likely to be on your toes all day long, but it is also increasingly important to make workout a part of your lifestyle regime. No matter if it is an early morning yoga class, brisk walking in the park or a jog, make sure to incorporate a physical activity as part of your self-care routine.

Choose Scrubs of Good Quality

Wearing scrubs of good quality can make a significant difference in the comfort and performance of healthcare professionals. Good quality scrubs are made with high-quality materials, such as cotton or polyester blends, that are soft, breathable, and comfortable to wear for extended periods.

Investing in good quality scrubs, such as Cherokee scrubs, can also help healthcare professionals maintain a professional appearance while on the job. This can be important for building trust with patients and colleagues and maintaining a positive work environment.

Take Breaks

Nursing is considered to be a demanding professions, where it is pivotal to take breaks throughout your shifts. This will help you to recharge and refocus. No matter if it is a quick stroll across the department, a few minutes of meditation, a chit chat with your pals or just enjoying tea on your own, the possibilities are endless. By taking breaks, you not only maintain your energy levels, but stay revitalized.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is all about being present in the moment as well as being engaged in the existing experience. Working in the healthcare, mindfulness helps you stay focused on your patient, offering compassionate care in difficult situations. No matter if it is just few minutes of meditation, breathing exercise, or take a moment out to focus on your inner self, incorporate mindfulness as part of your day to day routine to stay grounded.

Stay Connected

Nursing is a challenging yet rewarding career, where it is integral to stay connected with your friends, peers, family for emotional support. Be it a quick call or a text to your loved one, a snack with your best friends, a vacation with your gal pals, or just some time with your family at home, make sure to stay connected with your relationships and give precedence to those who matter.

Practice Self-Compassion

Lastly, it is integral to practice self-compassion as a nurse. Nursing is a high pressure, emotionally demanding and tough job. Therefore it is increasingly important to know your needs and limitations, as well as being kind to oneself. Whether self-care for you is about taking a mental health day, getting support from a therapist, or the ability to rest and recharge on your own convenience, it is important to practice self-compassion to maintain your mental, emotional and physical strength. Be sure to look and feel great in order to offer the best form of care to your loved ones.

In a nutshell, self-care is important for nurses to manage and maintain your health and wellbeing. This way, you get the ability to provide your patients with the best care. Prioritize on your sleep, consume healthy meals, make exercise part of your lifestyle, practice mindfulness, take breaks, foster your relationships and make sure to be compassionate to yourself. As a healthcare provider, you are already well aware of the importance of being healthy, therefore you need to take time out to support your own physical, emotional and mental health. This way you will be the best version of yourself personally and professionally.