Managing Self-Care with a Nurse’s Hours
Assess your situation and diagnose areas for improvement.
- Poor eating habits. With the pressures they face, many nurses have poor eating habits, which can lead to obesity and a number of related health problems. There are a variety of resources available to help you eat better, even if you’re doing it while on the go.
- Lack of exercise. Of course you know it’s good for you, but who has the time? You have more time than you think. Be aware of how you are spending your time each day, stick to a schedule and follow specific tips for exercising efficiently.
- Inadequate sleep. In addition to making you grumpy, the long-term health effects of chronic sleep deprivation can also affect your ability to perform well on the job. Make a plan to get the eight hours a night that your body needs.
- Inability to relax. Though it may be a nebulous term, relaxation is key to finding the balance you need with both your family and yourself. However you define it, set aside specific time to unplug and unwind.
Plan a course of action, and then implement your plan.
- Make your time work for you. Make the most of the time management skills you use in caring for your patients and put them to work for yourself and your family as well.
- Accept help from others. A major contributor to work-life imbalance is the belief that you need to do it all alone. Learn how to lean on both of your teams — at work and at home — for increased collaboration and support.
- Be realistic. This is about progress, not perfection. Be realistic about what you hope to change, and set up steps that help you achieve small successes focused on self-care.