As a nurse you are exposed to so many stressful situations, that you regularly set aside your own comfort on behalf of others.
And self-care is a skill many nurses neglect.
Infact, they should regularly engage themselves into a set of self-care practices, in order to do their jobs effectively and be the best caregiver to their patients.
Importance of Self-Care in the Nursing Profession
Empathy and compassion are key components of nursing. And if we keep pouring them out without replenishing them, then there will be nothing left to give. The reason being, the more you are taxed, the capacity for you to give your best in your profession will suffer.
Below are 8 ways that can simplify your workload:
It is time to expand your knowledge that can give you insights into things outside of bedside care. You can try a new hobby, join groups that promote joy, start a journal, or pursue counselling if needed.
Nursing is a physical career, but it does not count for physical activity according to the CDC. Nurses must exercise, maintain a healthy weight, do an hour of intense aerobic activity, a full body workout that targets all muscle groups, and eat a nutritious meal to keep themselves healthy.
3. Emotional Health
Being a nurse is not an easy job. There will be days when you will see your patients recover and on some days see your patients' health deteriorate. You may even lose a patient with whom you had built warm relations. And this can affect your professional as well as your personal life.
Smile at everyone you walk past.
Pen down your emotions.
Surround yourself with people who understand you.
Allow yourself to feel your emotions.
4. Become spiritual
Spirituality is another way of practicing self-care. And for that you need to engage yourself in activities that develop your higher self. You can practice meditation, volunteer for something you are passionate about, join a religious group, take a detox from social media, say positive affirmations, etc.
5. Make a room for Relationships
Try to identify the most important relationships in your life and prioritize your time for them.
Soon you will realize that spending time with the people you love empowers you to move towards your dreams and live your best life. Schedule some fun activities with each other, like going for a bike ride, or joining some club, that can help you maintain your self care habits.
6. Eat right
Your diet should include a variety of fruits, salads, vegetables, grains, diary, and protein. Also, adding colourful food to your diet can protect you from diseases. And drink plenty of water throughout the day. Water keeps you energised and functions properly.
7. Simplify your work
Set boundaries and wisely choose your time commitments.. As a nurse you are constantly juggling the expectations of your patients, family and your coworkers. So I highly recommend you to take some time off and create a daily planner and break up a to-do list. If possible, work for fewer holidays and fewer weekends, politely wrap up your conversation with over demanding patients, and start delegating work to your family members. This will help you get some load off your shoulders.
8. Get enough sleep
Maintaining quality sleep plays an important role in rejuvenating the body. And especially when you are carrying numerous demands and stresses, it is very important that you intentionally sleep for 7-8hr a day. As anything less than 7 hrs can be harmful for your health including the risk of heart attack.
Self-care can help reduce stress and improve your relationship with your mind and body.
Also, it’s high time we acknowledge that nurse burnout is a real issue and start taking care of ourselves. Cause if we don’t believe in self care, then how do we expect our patients to take our health advice?
So, take out ten minutes and start practicing self-care today.