Nursing is a demanding and stressful profession requiring physical and mental stamina. Nurses work long hours, often in high-stress environments. They often play the role of primary caregivers, responsible for the health and well-being of their patients. The stress of the job can take a toll on nurses’ mental and physical health, which is why they need to prioritize their wellness.
Research in the Journal of Nursing Administration showed that approximately 60% of nurses reported experiencing burnout, and 40% reported experiencing symptoms of depression.
Here are six tips for nurses to improve their physical and mental well-being.
- Prioritize Sleep
Sleep is crucial for mental and physical health, yet it is often the first thing to be sacrificed when nurses have a busy schedule. A lack of sleep can cause fatigue, irritability, and decreased cognitive function, affecting job performance and patient safety. According to the National Institutes of Health, adults need 7-8 hours of sleep each night for optimal health.
A study published in the Journal of Nursing Education and Practice found that nurses who got enough sleep had better job performance and were less likely to make errors.
Nurses can improve their sleep hygiene by creating a sleep-conducive environment, avoiding caffeine and alcohol before bedtime, and establishing a consistent sleep schedule.
- Opt for the Comfort of Online Degrees
Online courses offer flexibility and convenience that traditional classroom courses do not. Nurses who work long hours or have irregular schedules may find it challenging to attend in-person classes regularly, but with online courses, they can complete their syllabus at their own pace and on their schedule.
LaSalle University, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, offers online nursing programs designed to meet the needs of working nurses who want to advance their careers. LaSalle University offers undergraduate and graduate students online programs, including RN to BSN, MSN, and DNP programs.
These programs are designed to be flexible and convenient, allowing students to complete their coursework on a customizable schedule. The curriculum is taught by experienced nursing faculty dedicated to providing students with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in their careers.
LaSalle University’s online nursing programs offer support and resources to help students achieve their goals, including access to academic advisors, tutoring, and career services.
Moreover, online courses can be more cost-effective than traditional classroom courses. Nurses may not have the financial resources to pay for attending a physical university or college, including housing, transportation, and other expenses. Conversely, online courses may be more affordable and offer more financial aid options.
Furthermore, online courses can offer a more personalized learning experience. They often provide access to interactive tools and multimedia resources to help nurses better understand complex concepts.
Additionally, online courses may offer opportunities for one-on-one interaction with instructors and peers through online forums and discussion boards.
- Stay Active
Regular exercise is essential for maintaining sound health. Exercise can help reduce stress, improve mood, and increase energy levels. Exercise releases endorphins, natural mood boosters that can reduce stress and anxiety.
According to the CDC, all adults should engage in a moderate-intensity aerobic workout for at least 150 minutes or vigorous-intensity aerobic activity for 75 minutes per week.
Nurses can incorporate physical activity into their daily routine by taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking during lunch breaks, or joining a fitness class.
According to a study, nurses who took the time out for exercise routinely had better physical health and higher levels of job satisfaction.
Nurses should incorporate regular exercise into their daily routines. Even short periods of exercise, such as a brisk walk during a break, can significantly benefit physical and mental wellness.
- Take Breaks and Get Rest
Taking short but frequent breaks during work is also crucial for nurses to maintain their physical and mental wellness. Otherwise, they are at risk of burnout and stress due to being overworked.
According to a study that the Journal of Advanced Nursing published, nurses who took regular breaks had lower levels of stress and higher levels of job satisfaction.
Nurses should take short breaks throughout their shifts, which can help reduce stress and enhance their focus.
- Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy diet is necessary for maintaining physical and mental wellness. Nurses who eat a healthy diet are better able to handle the physical demands of their job and have more energy to provide quality care to their patients.
According to a study from the Journal of Nursing Education and Practice, nurses who ate a healthy diet had better physical health and were less likely to experience burnout. Another study published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology found that nurses who ate a healthy diet had lower stress levels and were less likely to leave their job.
Nurses should aim to have a balanced diet plan that includes a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins and avoid processed and sugary foods.
- Build a Dependable Support System
Building a support system is essential for maintaining both physical and mental wellness. Nurses with a strong and steady support system can better handle the stresses of their job and rely on others for help when needed.
Following a study published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing, social support can help reduce stress and prevent burnout in nurses. Additionally, a study published in the Journal of Nursing Education and Practice found that nurses with a sound support system had better mental health and higher levels of job satisfaction.
Nurses can build a support system by connecting with coworkers, joining support groups, and contacting friends and family for help and support. It’s essential to have people to talk to about the job’s stresses and a support network to turn to when needed.
By practicing self-care and prioritizing their well-being, nurses can continue to positively impact their patients’ lives while taking care of themselves. Incorporating these amazing tips into their daily routine can help them achieve a healthy work-life balance, reduce stress, and boost their overall well-being.
By prioritizing self-care and making healthy choices, nurses can improve their health and set an example for their patients and colleagues. Let us all continue to support and encourage our nurses in their pursuit of wellness.