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How Can Nurses Take Care of Themselves
Nursing is a caring professional, and nurses are the caregivers, so they are naturally attracted to this profession. Although this work is gratifying, nurse practitioners often experience stressful working days, unpredictable schedules, and long work hours.
With this Covid pandemic, nurse practitioners all around the globe have been practicing in stressful and challenging situations for a long time now with no relief. While this job is heroic, necessary, and meaningful, self-care for every nurse is more important to prevent burnout.
There are multiple practices of self-care that every nurse must follow to mitigate burnout. In this article, nurses will learn about some valuable ways of prioritizing their self-care and help reduce their daily burnout effectively.
Advancing Your Knowledge Without Stressing Out
Self-care is a long process, and you are probably already prepared if you’re a mature learner balancing your nursing career and personal life and considering an advanced degree program. In choosing your advanced degree in nursing, opt for an institute that offers various specialization choices and online education options.
Earning your degree online will make it easy to pick the right track for yourself without compromising your professional and home life. In addition to that, it will offer you outstanding leadership and management skills along with advanced nursing education required in healthcare settings.
Expand your nursing knowledge and career opportunities with an online nursing degree from an accredited university. Finally, you can initiate your self-care interventions and evaluate your overall progress to see how well you’re doing.
Practice Mindfulness and Meditation
Meditating is becoming a popular way for managing your stress and nurturing overall health. It means taking care of your feelings, thoughts, and even your surroundings.
You can perform mindfulness meditation by sitting in a peaceful, relaxed place and concentrating on emotional energy, breathing, and external surroundings. Practicing it for around 20 minutes daily will help you reduce your stress, making it practical for nurses. Mindfulness meditation comes with the following great benefits:
- Stress management;
- Reoriented perspective;
- Greater focus on your present;
- Enhanced self-awareness;
- Increased patience and creativity;
- Reduced negative emotions due to stress and anxiety.
Deep breathing is a great practice to sneak in self-care in your hectic shifts. Your body’s stress response can help you tackle and prevent any danger. However, chronic stress can be highly detrimental. It will result in excessive fatigue, digestive issues, premature aging, and a lot more.
Breathing exercise will help counteract stress by slowing down your body and heart rate, along with extricating you from disturbing thoughts and sensations. Take a calm, deep breath through the nose and hold that for a few seconds, then exhale your breath through the mouth. Repeat that for a few minutes and relax. Deep breathing is a great stress-relieving practice that you can easily take anytime and anywhere.
Participate in Physical Activity
Exercising is another excellent way of self-care for professional nurses. It helps keep you physically fit healthy, expands your lifespan, and enhances your overall energy. In addition to that, it helps you maintain your mental health.
While exercising, your body produces natural painkillers known as endorphins that will help promote sleep. Also, they will enhance your mood and provide you with more confidence.
Exercise proves more effective when you do that regularly. It doesn’t need to be highly intense. You can participate in a moderate workout for only 30 minutes every day to get its benefits.
Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Having uninterrupted and sufficient sleep during the night is essential for boosting your positive mood, mental clarity, and overall physical health. Setting aside about eight hours every night is one great way to practice effective self-care for nurses.
Most nurses sleep less than the recommended sleeping hours. Due to this reason, sleep deprivation occurs, and it hurts your ability to concentrate and manage your daily tasks effectively. Without any bodily rest, your brain will miss out on some recharge time and will be poorly equipped for your following day.
Furthermore, sleep quality is also an essential element contributing to your better health. Get yourself ready for a powerful night’s rest by reducing your screen time and the intake of caffeine or alcohol before bedtime. The important thing is to make your sleep environment more optimal for a better night’s sleep. A dark room having comfortable pillows and mattresses can make the difference you need.
Take More Breaks
As a professional nurse, it’s hard to take care of any more responsibilities after finishing your 12-hour long shift. You may want to catch up on your errands and routine housework on your days off. Even though all these duties are essential, try to balance them all. Without disengaging once in a while, you will feel like you are always working.
Taking some breaks is another ideal way to focus on self-care for every nurse. After you return home from the grocery market, sit down for a moment, and unwind to the podcast for about 20 minutes. Take a short walk around the area after paying your bills. In addition to that, you can write some of your thoughts down in your journal before beginning your day.
Short, intentional breaks will help you prevent burnout. They have other advantages, including improved mood, memory, and overall physical health. When you are at work, taking a few breaks is essential.
Whenever possible, take some time off to step outside your work premises and breathe some fresh air so that you will return to the shift recharged. Moreover, breaks can help you stay strong and perform at your best as a professional nurse.
The nursing profession comes with some significant challenges for nurses that require them to stay stronger to survive in this field. Nurses work all day and night tirelessly to provide their patients with the best care possible. However, aside from taking care of others, these nurses should prioritize self-care.
Nurses who stay active, healthy, and focused at work can perform better during their shifts. The above-outlined self-care ways will help nurses become sharper and maintain their overall health at all times.