7 Tips for Nurses to Balance Personal Health, Work, and Study : Nursing is one of the most demanding and rewarding jobs. Nurses have to work for extended hours under considerable pressure and anxiety to provide patients with the best possible care and supervision. Although it is not the simplest undertaking, it pays off in work gratification when you help those in need.
As a nurse, you may be looking to advance your career and progress towards leadership opportunities and improve your standard of care and earnings. The fastest way to upgrade your career options and skills base is to opt for higher education. As a result, you may have to balance study, work, and personal health. If you fail to do so, you won’t only neglect your studies but could not perform well as a healthcare service provider. Therefore, let us give you some tips to help you balance your health, work, and education.
Advance Your Career
It is undeniable that each industry is advancing rapidly, including the nursing industry. So, to stand firm in any field, people have to upskill and learn new specializations. You would not be able to improve your performance if you were unaware of the latest trends in healthcare. That is why it is a good idea to enroll in an online program to achieve independence, personal fulfillment, and advancement so that you can influence patient outcomes more directly.
For this purpose, Hawai’i Pacific University offers an online MSN Program specially designed for BSN registered nurses looking to learn new skills and advance their careers.
No matter what profession or study background a person belongs to, a good diet is a key to maintaining health. Nursing students often state that they do not get time to eat a healthy and balanced diet. As a result, these nurses often opt to eat fast food, order take-out, or neglect to eat a proper meal at all. The nurses who find little time to eat a decent meal can divide their meals into small snack-size portions. Moreover, they can also opt to make quick healthy recipes that can be prepared under 30 minutes or do weekly meal prep. Doing meal prep will leave you with more time to dedicate to your education, and all you’ll have to do is grab a meal out of the fridge.
Keep in mind that keeping your energy in check is crucial for your health and every task you perform. You cannot expect to excel at your work and education if you are not taking care of yourself.
Our body needs water to function properly. You should make sure that you do not become dehydrated. Drinking water is also a clever way to feel full between meals so that you would not have to overeat or make bad food choices while studying or at the hospital.
Besides drinking water, you have a lot of other ways to fulfill the need for body fluids. For example, some vegetables and fruits have high water content, and they can easily be eaten or turned into fresh juices to restore body fluids. However, avoid drinking sugary and carbonated drinks that can be hard on stomachs, especially when dehydrated. It will also help to limit caffeinated beverages because they are diuretics and make your body lose more fluids.
Protect Yourself from Infections
Protecting yourself is akin to protecting your patients when working at a healthcare facility or going about your day. If you contract an infection or virus from someplace or someone, your patients will be at risk of exposure. Therefore, protecting yourself from viruses, germs, and infections is crucial, and you can do that by taking all the necessary preventative measures.
While working at the healthcare facility, follow all the suggestions for PPH (personal protective equipment). Moreover, you can also go for a complete course of vaccinations against viruses, diseases, and infections.
Get Enough Sleep
Students in nursing school face sleep deprivation frequently. Getting just 4 to 5 hours of sleep increases the chance of getting distracted and damages overall health and grades. It contributes to impaired immune function, aches, stress, pains, irritability, memory problems, and hallucinations. Moreover, nursing students who do not get adequate sleep make poor food choices.
You must get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep at night for all these reasons. You can improve sleep quality by having a nightly routine like a self-care routine, meditation, etc.
Manage Fitness and Stress
Sticking to the study table all day won’t do any good. You will end up becoming stressed, lazy and sluggish. Follow these tips to stay fit:
- Use stairs rather than elevators to remain active.
- Workout for at least thirty minutes a day. It is not mandatory to enter a gym for that. There are hundreds of activities and exercises that you can do at home without any equipment.
- If you cannot convince yourself to exercise, consider playing a sport (frisbee, football, cricket, baseball, etc.) or going for a walk or run. The main idea is to keep moving.
- Eliminate preventable and unnecessary stress. Do not overthink as it is worthless.
- Take out at least 15 minutes a day for relaxation and reflection. Meditation is a great way to loosen up and alleviate all the anxiety. It soothes the mind and unwinds it.
- Have a relaxing activity for at least half an hour before bed. It can be reading, listening to podcasts, or anything you like.
- Take out some time for self-care. Go to a beauty salon or a massage center to get hair or nails treatments and shoulder massages.
- Withstand the temptation to use sleeping drugs, especially when under the stress of studying or writing papers.
Follow a Schedule and Be Organized
Creating a schedule that includes studying, exercise, food preparation, and leisure activities help a lot in staying healthy and focused. You will not get distracted when you know what to do and when. You can make a to-do list and prioritize tasks for the whole day, week, or month. Setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) goals will let you achieve all your objectives.
Besides following a timetable, a nursing professional or student should also be organized. You will attain information better by reading assigned materials before the lecture and reviewing them afterward.
Balancing work, study, and your health may seem impossible when working as a nurse, but it is not that difficult if you commit yourself to the cause thoroughly. Therefore, take some time to plan and organize your study and work every week and create a proper schedule. Doing so will help you open windows in your schedule where you can take out some time to destress, focus on your health, and enjoy your life.
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