Spring brings new growth, the snow is starting to melt, the cherry blossoms are in bloom, we start having longer days and warmer nights. Many of us start to venture outside and become more active. So it may be a good time as a nurse to look at how to have a healthier lifestyle and balance between work and home life.
We know nursing comes with some hefty physical and emotional demands. Studies show those in the nursing field can experience higher burnout than other professions. To avoid burnout and keep up a healthy lifestyle here are a few tips to help you achieve balance in your life to enjoy all aspects in your life, from the passion you have at work to spending time with friends and family.
- Know your limits. Nurses can be perfectionists in their careers. If your job or home life expectations are more than you can reasonably handle, learn to say, “No.” Taking on extra shifts, attending too many social functions or being responsible for more than your share of household tasks can overwhelm you unnecessarily.
- Eat healthy snacks. Eat a meal before your shift and during your “lunch” break to keep your energy levels up. Some healthy snacks that pack a lot of energy include, Fresh Bananas and Apples they are loaded with vitamin C, antioxidants, and fiber, fruit is great for times when you need a little energy boost. Yogurt and Cereal when you need a bigger energy boost yogurt is a great choice. For some extra crunch add a bit of cereal. Almonds and Walnuts are packed with good fats, which help you stay full.
- Exercise and sweat. Physical activity is a natural stress reliever. Find time to exercise by walking during your breaks or using the gym after work. There are some really great social apps you can download to your phone that will keep you moving from walking to yoga and tracking your daily movement.
- Don’t rely on caffeine. Too much caffeine can leave you feeling foggy, sick and mentally drained. Limit the amount of caffeinated drinks you have during your shift. Instead, focus on getting enough sleep to get you through your shift.
- Decompress at the end of the day. To help yourself get to sleep, let yourself wind down for a bit at the end of your shift before you go to sleep. Try a warm bath with essential oils like lavender, deep breathing exercises or meditation.
- Plan healthy meals. Making a meal after you have had a very long shift is sometimes just not going to happen. Try preparing meals ahead of time that you can grab from the refrigerator or freezer. Planning meals on your day off can help you stay healthy and saves time.
- Take time for yourself. You do so much for your patients and your family. Make sure you take time for just you. It’s important to take occasional me time to let yourself relax and unwind. You matter too!
Your health is your responsibility – take it seriously!
Take the steps you need to achieve a healthy work/life balance and avoid burnout. Your health is important and it’s up to you. You’re worth it!