It is no secret that nursing is a demanding profession where you work long, antisocial hours with stressful work, which means that it can certainly take its toll if you do not know how to manage your time effectively. There are many benefits to nursing, such as career security, development opportunities, and job satisfaction. For many people, this is a way of life, but these people will have mastered how to manage their time and know-how to properly look after themselves while performing to a high standard each day. With this in mind, here are a few lifestyle tips for nurses, which will help anyone struggling, new to the field, or thinking about a career in nursing.
Make A Plan for Your Time Off
Nurses must possess excellent time management skills in their role, but you also need to apply this to your personal life. Shift work has many advantages, and as a role where you are constantly on your feet, it can feel fantastic to have a few days off, but you must make the most out of this time. This is why you should always plan to get everything that you need to get done, recharge, and feel ready to go for your next shift.
Prioritize Rest & Sleep
Following this, rest and sleep should be prioritized as a nurse as you will need both of these not only to function but for your own mental health and so that you can enjoy your time off. It can be challenging when you work long hours and at strange times, but getting at least 7 hours of sleep will make a huge difference to many areas of your life, including your performance each day.
Maintain A Healthy Diet
Diet is something that many nurses struggle with, especially when they are just getting started. A healthy diet will help you to maximize your performance, but many nurses struggle to maintain this due to the demanding nature of the work, which means that they often end up eating junk food. Instead, try to eat a large meal before your shift and bring in your own meals and snacks, which will give you greater control. Additionally, be sure to stay hydrated throughout the day and avoid drinking too much coffee.
Take Online Courses
To succeed in nursing, you need to earn qualifications, and these will help you get ahead in your career. This can be hugely demanding, especially if you are already working, which is why it is a good idea to take online courses, The accelerated BSN nursing program with online coursework is a great way to obtain this excellent qualification, which will open up lots of opportunities and help you to find rewarding work, plus it can be completed much faster than the normal four years.
Get to Know Your Fellow Nurses
It is always a good idea to get to know your colleagues, but in nursing, there is a strong sense of community, and you certainly do not want to get on the wrong side of your fellow nurses. This is why you need to take the time to develop and maintain these relationships, provide support, and help them out when needed – they will then return the favor. Having these relationships can be incredibly helpful, especially on the difficult days (which are inevitable).
Do Not Dwell on Things
It is easy to dwell on things as a nurse, whether this is a traumatic case, being shouted at by someone, or experiencing death. You cannot dwell on these things as a nurse as it can cause you to lose focus and confidence, so instead, you need to move forward and devote all of your attention to the job in front of you.
Maintain A Sense of Humor
One of the ways that those in healthcare cope with the stressful, upsetting, and traumatic things that they see is to maintain a good sense of humor. It may seem strange at first, but you will find that it helps separate yourself from the situation and allow yourself to continue working without it affecting you.
Get to Know Your Patients & Their Loved Ones
The best nurses are the ones that connect with their patients and their loved ones. This means that you need to provide emotional support, empathize, and spend time with them, which is always greatly appreciated and can make all the difference to someone’s experience. You need to try not to become too attached, though, as this will only make your work much harder when there are negative outcomes.
Try to Separate Work & Home
After a typical shift, it can be hard to walk out of the hospital and carry on as normal with your personal life. It takes some time to be able to do it but being able to separate the two will allow you to look after your wellbeing, make the most out of your time and be happy. A few basic tips for this include getting changed straight away, having fun activities lined up, and not talking too much about work.
Try to Exercise
It is hard when you have been on your feet all day, but regular exercise can make a huge difference to your physical and mental health. Many in healthcare find that exercise can be a great stress reliever, and you should find that it gives you more energy and mental strength at work.
Use Your Support Network
As a nurse, there will always be difficult days and challenging experiences to go through. During these times, you must have a support network that you can rely on, whether this is your fellow nurses, a partner, family, or a mental health professional. There are also online communities for nurses, which can be a great source of support and guidance.
Hopefully, these lifestyle tips will come in useful and help any nurse to maximize their performance, look after their wellbeing, and enjoy the many perks that this career offers.