As a nurse, you get trained most of your life to care for the patient’s health, putting their life and care above yours. But it can harm your health, affecting your physical abilities, fitness, sleep, nutrition, safety, rest, etc. These aspects can affect a nurse’s health and performance overall, indirectly putting the patient’s well-being at risk.
Apart from that, nurses who do not take a moment to care for their well-being experience frustration and lower job satisfaction. For this reason, healthcare institutions are finding ways to improve nurses and expect the nurses to follow a guideline to ensure their health. It includes:
1. Regular exercises
One of the leading causes of burnout in nurses is stress. The reason is that nurses have to work in high-intensity units such as emergency and ICU continuously. In addition, they have to stay on their feet all the time, rushing from one patient to another to provide healthcare services. Dealing with so many patients can cause stress and take a toll on their health. But one of the most basic methods to reduce stress is through exercise. Therefore, to release stress and burnout, exercise as frequently as possible for the sake of their physical and mental health.
Research shows that exercise releases a feel-good hormone in our body known as endorphin. Endorphin helps in improving a person’s mood, activities, and sleep. Therefore, exercises should be an essential part of your self-care routine.
2. Organize your work/life balance
Often nurse practitioners pursue higher education degrees such as a terminal degree in nursing for the sake of career progress. However, studying while fulfilling your duty as a full-time nurse practitioner can take a heavy toll on your health. To avoid that, you must practice a strict work-life balance to divide your responsibilities and take some time for yourself.
3. Eat healthily
A famous proverb states that a person is what they eat, which seems silly upfront, but it is way more meaningful if you think about it. An unhealthy eating routine can cause health issues and affect your performance at work. It will tire you out quickly as you rapidly burn through your energy reservoir during long nursing shifts. But opting to eat healthy food options can increase their well-being. Therefore, include plenty of protein, greens, and healthy fats in your diet to keep you active all day long. Apart from that, you might also want to limit your caffeine consumption as it can burn you out more quickly. Instead, drink lots of water to stay active all the time.
4. Foster better communication
While most aspects of self-care are limited to an individual, communication, and relations with other people in the workplace matter a lot. Fostering better communication with colleagues, patients, and management can help you manage burnout. Because when you communicate your thoughts, needs, demands, and expectations to your colleagues and management, it saves you from many issues in hindsight. You become in charge of your work and routine, setting the mood for your performance and health.
5. Start resilience training
The healthcare industry is rapidly evolving due to the increasing demands from the world population. In addition, the pandemic played its role in increasing the healthcare services demands. As a result, the industry had to revolutionize its services to suit the current demands.
During this commotion, nurses were the ones who were getting most affected because they were the frontline workers. While there was a shortage in nurses, according to current demands already, burnout started causing more issues. Therefore, the healthcare industry had to put nurses through some resistance training to help them adapt to the current conditions. Such training can help you adapt to the stressors of current workplace conditions, which can reduce burnout possibilities. In this training, you learn tactics that can help you reduce stress and deal with worker’s depression.
6. Practice meditation
For centuries meditation has been a part of almost every culture in the world. The practice still exists in the present age because many benefits of meditation have been tried and tested scientifically. Hence, you can opt for a few minutes of meditation to reduce your stress levels and feel more at peace. You can practice meditation before you leave for work. It will give you a fresh start to the day and improve your performance or during your break. Taking out 10 minutes from your break to meditate can help you release tension from your body muscles and relax your body. Apart from that, it teaches you mindfulness and makes you aware of your limitations.
Nurses always put the well-being of their patients above their own needs. But it is about time that nurses get some attention as well. In the current times, with the increasing demand for frontline healthcare workers, nurses need more attention and relief than ever before. Hence, taking the initiative to practice self-care can help you relieve your stress. In addition, it will improve work satisfaction and help you perform better during your shift. As a result, nurses must prioritize their health as well as the health of their patients. Taking these steps is certainly a start in the self-care regimen.