Nurses are an essential part of the healthcare sector. They are the caregivers who spend their lives treating patients and empathizing with the sick. They get to see so much during their job that it often takes a toll on them, both physically and mentally.
According to a recent survey done by Nursing Times, almost 44% out of 1200 nurses rated their mental well-being as “bad,” 10% higher than 2020. Thus, if nurses don’t take out time for their mental well-being, they could be prone to serious disorders. Long work hours and intense situations at work can be overwhelming for them, and as a result, nurses could be depressed or suffer from anxiety.
Here are a few tips for nurses to stay fit and healthy:
1. Be a good communicator
First and foremost, you should be a good communicator and learn how and when to say NO. There will be times when you might not feel well and cannot carry on working without a break. As a nurse, you should communicate such issues to your supervisor to take into account your mental and physical well-being.
Additionally, being a good communicator can help you seek help whenever necessary, especially after witnessing severe cases. You should discuss your issues with your colleagues or talk to a therapist while going through tough times. Moreover, learn essential nursing skills such as time management to utilize your time properly, so you don’t affect your health while working for longer hours.
2. Sleep well
A good night’s sleep can do wonders for your mental and physical well-being. Lack of sleep disrupts your mind, makes you lose focus, lowers productivity, and causes mood swings. If you’re continually sleep-deprived for a long time, you might suffer from serious ailments such as heart failure, insomnia, digestive disorders, diabetes, and even morbid obesity.
In addition, research shows that sleeplessness leads to 1.9 times higher risk of breast cancer in females. If you’re well-rested, you’d be able to perform well and take better care of your patients.
3. Stay hydrated
Most of the nurses are unable to stay as hydrated as they should. Many healthcare organizations have strict rules against carrying water bottles for nurses, which can negatively affect their health. They are only allowed to drink water during breaks, which isn’t sufficient. This is a problem that should be discussed with your superiors. Make sure you get enough water into your system as it will keep you agile, energetic and prevent you from various diseases.
4. Pay attention to hygiene
Nurses should also pay special attention to their overall hygiene. They should wear protective gear like special footwear, gloves, and masks when going in and out of critical wards. Nurses should also wash their hands often, especially after treating a patient or before eating. It reduces the risk of spreading illnesses among nurses as well as patients.
If washing hands frequently with water isn’t a viable option, then proper hand sanitizing stations should be installed at appropriate places to ensure adequate hygiene.
5. Eat a healthy diet
A healthy diet is crucial for nurses’ physical and mental well-being. As a nurse, you must take a well-balanced diet containing fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat, grains, legumes, and herbs to get your daily dose of nutrients. Additionally, you should add other supplements to your routines, such as iron or multivitamin capsules. They can further boost your overall wellness.
6. Practice meditation
Meditation in the morning offers immense mental clarity and improves focus. It boosts your self-confidence and self-awareness as well. Research shows that nurses who meditate have excellent work performance, better communication, and reduced risk of serious diseases like high blood pressure, depression, and anxiety. Mindfulness can make nurses kinder towards their patients and help them find a balance between their personal and work lives.
7. Do some physical activity
As a nurse, you should not neglect your physical activity. Do some exercises or workouts every day. Go for a morning walk as it will energize your mind and body. It will help open up get rid of the fatigue. You will also feel an increase in appetite, which will help you eat a healthy breakfast before the day starts. You could start with post-work yoga to get rid of back pain, deep muscle aches and enjoy a healthier night’s rest.
All in all, nurses must take special care of their health to be better at their job and become more satisfied with their life. Healthcare organizations must take measures for their nursing staff to ensure their mental and physical well-being to help them remain fit and healthy.
Nurses must be allowed to take breaks and regain their energy rather than constantly work for long hours. It’s also critical to take measures for nurses’ diet, hygiene, and check-ups to deliver their best services without compromising the quality.