Get to sleep!
Self-care routines for nurses need to be built on a foundation of deep nourishment while also offering effectiveness and efficiency. Many nurses work in long shifts and have varying sleep patterns. Sleep deprivation can lead to serious consequences, including drowsiness that leads to mistakes. Therefore, the foundation of self-care is sleep. An eye mask, blackout curtains, aromatherapy, sound machines, or even guided meditations are all helpful for adjusting your rhythm of sleep. Herbal teas and natural supplements like melatonin may also help as long as you consult your doctor beforehand.
Take care of your body
Aside from sleep, some other forms of self-care when it comes to the physical body include eating healthy meals, staying hydrated, joining a gym, or finding movement that brings enjoyment and scheduling time for massages or pedicures if those are things that make you feel pampered and relaxed. Gentle exercise like yoga has the benefit of not only nourishing a person’s physical body but also their mental and spiritual needs. If you can make time for practices like yoga, meditation, or even deep-breathing exercises, it can go a long way to calming the nervous system when work gets stressful or overwhelming.
Digest emotions in a healthy way
Nurses interact with the illest of people and, many times, see death daily. This can pave the way for overwhelming emotions if you don’t take time to digest the toll of these experiences. Emotional self-care, therefore, is vital for anyone in the nursing profession. Self-care that falls under this category can look like praising yourself or having a laugh with colleagues whenever possible. At home, give yourself time to feel any arising emotion, create a music playlist that brings you happiness, call a friend to meet for coffee, or watch something funny or uplifting.
Nurses have important jobs, but in the end, they are also people who need time away from work just like the rest of us. With busy schedules and rotating shifts, it can be difficult to find time for yourself. However, setting small goals and sticking to them can act as stepping stones to better self-care. This year on Nurses Day, we thank all of the wonderful nurses who work within Hancock Health for their dedication to keeping our community safe and healthy. We couldn’t do it without you. Thank you, nurses!