Whether you are working as a registered nurse or currently earning your bachelor’s degree in nursing, you know how important it is to stay healthy and not burn yourself out. However, with the busy schedule that often comes with being a nurse, it can be easy to focus on the health of others and put your own on the backburner. By making your own health a priority, you can do your best possible work. So, here are five simple ways to help avoid nurse burnout:
Focus on Work-Life Balance
Your career is a big part of your life. You spend many hours in the workplace doing what you love, and it is likely you consider your work to be a defining feature of yourself. However, it is important make work-life balance a priority and take time to focus on the other parts of your life, such as spending time with your loved ones. This way, you can avoid burnout and live a healthy, happy life. Also, this will allow you to completely focus on your work while you are there.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
During busy times, we tend to reach for whatever is fastest and easiest when it comes to our diet. Unfortunately, this can lead to unhealthy choices. You have probably heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” As a nurse, you know this can be true. The foods we eat can either fuel us throughout the day or hold us back. So, be sure to aim for foods that are high in protein and complex carbohydrates and low in sugar, sodium and refined fats, because these will give you the energy needed to work through a long day (Keller, 2013). Also, do not forget to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water!
Exercise on a Regular Basis
After long hours of studying or working, going to the gym is probably the last thing you want to do. However, there are many benefits that come with exercising regularly. According to Mayo Clinic, exercise can help to combat health conditions and diseases, improve your mood, boost your energy levels and promote better sleep. Even if you exercise for just 30 minutes a few times a week, this can still improve your overall health!
Get Plenty of Sleep
Sleep is often one of the first things that is compromised when you are working long shifts or studying for your next big exam. Remember that if you are feeling stressed, sleep is just what you need! For this reason, it is so important for nurses and nursing students to have good time management. Plan each week in advance in order to keep track of your responsibilities and how much time they will take. This way, it will be easier to get the amount of sleep you need each night!
Find What Re-Energizes You
It is important to save time for yourself and find what re-energizes you. For example, maybe you enjoy reading, journaling or keeping up with your favorite TV show. By dedicating a certain amount of time to activities like these, you can relax and unwind at the end of each day. Also, spending time doing an activity like journaling can give you the opportunity to sort through your thoughts. While it may seem like your schedule keeps you on-the-go at all times, it is so important to save time for yourself so you can be the best nurse you can possibly be!
Grand Canyon University’s College of Nursing and Health Care Professions offers a curriculum that connects classroom theories to working scenarios through many modalities. To learn more about GCU’s healthcare degrees, visit our website or request more information using the button at the top of the page.
Written by Lauren Abraham, a senior earning a communications degree at GCU.
- Keller, T. (2013). 6 Tips to Stay Healthy as a Nurse. Retrieved from online.notredamecollege.edu/nursing/6-tips-to-stay-healthy-as-a-nurse
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.