Nurses live to take care of others. In addition to spending their professional careers caring for patients many nurses extend this caring into their home life. They care for spouses, children, aging parents, and often family and friends. They enjoy taking care of others and see great value in this work. But unfortunately, many nurses forget to take care of someone very important: themselves.
Somehow in the hustle and bustle of patient care and family life it can be easy to forget that your first patient should always be yourself. If you plan to have a long and fruitful nursing career you have to make sure that you are taking care of your body, mind, and soul. This is the only way to ensure that you have a happy and fulfilling nursing career.
Taking Care of Your Body
The very first rule of self-care for nurses should be to put good things in their bodies. This includes eating a healthy diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and lots and lots of water! Processed foods should be avoided and sweets kept to a minimum. In addition, an active lifestyle should be maintained. This doesn’t mean that you have to run miles each day, but you should take the stairs whenever possible, park a little farther from the grocery store, and complete 20-30 minutes of exercise 3-4 days a week.
Taking Care of Your Mind
Stress can cause you to feel as bad as poor diet and sedentary lifestyle. It’s important that you manage your stress levels and identify when situations are too stressful and do your best to remove yourself from them or ask for assistance to help you get the situations under control more quickly. There are many ways to reduce stress. Some of the easiest and most popular include pleasure reading, meditation, walking, hot baths, yoga, and breathing exercises.
Taking Care of the Soul
While many may feel that your body and mind are the only things you have to worry about, taking care of the soul is just as important. This means different things to difference people but ultimately it involves exercising your spirituality and connecting to whatever higher power you feel exists. This power can help you to deal with difficult situations and feel greater appreciation for life in general.
The Gift That Keeps on Giving
As a nurse when you take care of yourself you are really taking care of others. Prolonging your life and livelihood in nursing means that you will have the ability to positively affect more patient lives. Although you might not realize it at the thing, the few activities that you do to pamper yourself are actually indirectly benefiting the patients you serve. Take care of yourself so that you can continue to share your compassion and care with patients.