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Ways to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle as a Nursing Professional

Ways to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle as a Nursing Professional Nursing is a demanding profession. It takes muscle power, brainpower, and emotional stability to get through one round of patients. While you're working as a nurse, you also need to ensure that your skills aren't lagging and that you're aware of the healthcare sector as it evolves. So, how do you take care of yourself in this incredibly demanding field and ensure that you're doing well in all regards?
Everyone has their definition of being healthy. However, for the most part, healthy means you're physically strong, you have no health complications. Through this article, we will guide you through some considerations that you can apply to your life to take care of yourself as a nurse. After all, you can't care for your patients unless you care for yourself. So, here's what you need to do:

1. Exercise More Often

As a nurse, you require immense stamina. Your job requires you to run between departments and patient rooms while you're standing on your feet for long. Aching muscles and tired joints are common problems due to a lack of rest. It can also help if you do physical training such as weight lifting and cardio to build endurance. Your muscles don't get fatigued quickly, and you're able to keep up with your work pressure.

2. Research Education

If you're planning on going back to school, you may opt for an associate degree or a post-graduate. Even though online education can give your all the flexibility you may require, don't forget to ask questions like how long does it take to get a masters in nursing? So that you have an idea of what your timeline looks like. The last thing you want is to enroll in a program whose duration is lengthy and overwork yourself and start neglecting your job or your education. So never start any degree without knowing what to expect. It will also help you manage your time better at work. Overworking jeopardizes your health, causing you to get sick faster or unable to keep up with the stress of your work.

3. Seek Counseling

Your mental health also deserves placement in your healthy lifestyle list. If you're mentally not doing well, it takes a toll on your physical well-being. Unprocessed trauma and grief keep you from eating properly, getting enough sleep, and even makes you bail on personal hygiene. As a result, you get ill, you may experience severe headaches, and your weight falls drastically.
Nurses see many patients and various cases in a day. Some of these cases are too gruesome to handle and may leave a lasting impression on you. Through counseling, you're not only laying down your feelings, but you're also finding ways to cope. It is a holistic method of treatment where you're allowed to process, accept and grief every hardship you've faced in the duration of your career. So the next time you go to work, you know how to handle yourself.

Ways to Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle as a Nursing Professional 4. Have a Good Diet

While it's convenient to stop at fast-food restaurants and get a burger on the go, it's not a good idea for your physical health. Foods rich in sodium and saturated fats are not nutritious. They not only make you obese but make you susceptible to various health conditions such as clogged arteries. You may even feel nauseous and heavy after a meal which isn't right when you're going around treating patients.
As a nurse, you should focus on building a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, unsaturated fats such as nuts and lean protein. A diet such as this one gives you all the nutritional value you need and even ensures you feel light on your feet all day. Your physique remains toned, and you also get all the essential vitamins you need for a healthy body.

5. Go Easy On Caffeine

As a nurse, you may need to pull night shifts, and you may feel like you should consume copious amounts of coffee to help you. Caffeine consumption interferes with brain activity and even makes your sleep schedule irregular. You may have a caffeinated beverage once in the morning, but don't let your consumption go beyond two.
So, when you're turning up for a night shift, opt for water instead. Keep yourself hydrated as you work your way through your shifts. Water is a good medium to keep refreshed and awake, and you're not putting your body or mind at risk of over-exertion.

6. Sleep More

The profession may keep you up through the night, but you should try sleeping whenever you can. If you get a day off after pulling a long shift, make sure you sleep first then attend to chores outside of work. Sleep is important. Without getting the recommended hours of sleep, you get fatigued, dizzy, and may even collapse on your feet. If you feel sleepy at work, you should let a coworker take over for a while, and you get some shut-eye. Don't ignore your health for the sake of your job. If you choose to work when you're unable to stay awake any longer, you'll not only make mistakes at work. You will hesitate and stumble while working with patients and even make the wrong decisions.

7. Lay Off the Alcohol

Everyone likes an occasional drink, but as a healthcare professional, you need to exercise caution. You can't be drinking on the job or before your shift. If you wish to indulge in alcohol, make sure you drink in a controlled manner and have enough time before your next shift to wash away the effects of the alcohol. If you choose to indulge recklessly, you may show up to work drunk. The healthcare sector needs all hands on deck, which means the margin of error is very minimal. So not only are you putting your health at risk, but you're also risking a patient's life as well as your license.Wrap Up
When it comes to physically intensive careers such as nursing, you need to find ways to remain healthy. As a nurse, your mental competency and physical endurance define the framework of your career. Therefore you need to pay attention to your health. Make sure you're eating sufficiently, drinking enough water, and getting plenty of sleep.
Don't forget to squeeze in time to exercise and research any degrees you plan on pursuing. If you feel like you're having a hard time at work, try and find help. You should never push your body to its limit, especially in a profession where you have patients depending on you. The last thing you'd want is to hurt yourself and those around you.

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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 28th July 2021.

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