Nurses are some of the busiest people we know. In between shifts, they’re catching up on sleep, making time for family and friends and doing errands. It’s easy to forget to take care of your health with all that going on, but it’s pretty hard to be a great nurse when your health is suffering. Here are some tips for staying healthy in the shortest amount of time:
Make working out an exercise in multitasking
Exercise and meeting up with friends can be accomplished in one activity, saving you time and making the work out infinitely more fun! Go hiking with friends, sign up for fun group classes or use an app to participate in a fitness challenge with other nurses.
Smart meal preparation
While it’s true that preparing meals in advance prevents you from snacking on unhealthy foods, it can be hard to find a block of time to cook so much food in advance. You can speed up the process by making meals that use similar ingredients. Cut up vegetables that can go in both a salad and a stir-fry. Bake chicken breast pieces in a variety of spices and sauces, so you’re not eating the same meal day after day. Make two main dishes and two sides, and mix and match so you get four different meals out of it.
Pay attention to how food makes you feel
When you’re extremely busy, you may grab the first food on hand, especially if it doesn’t need any preparation. After each meal, see how the foods you ate make you feel. Are you energized or sluggish? Do you feel sick or happy? Avoid eating foods which don’t agree with you, physically and emotionally, and focus on the foods that give you the fuel you need to get through the day.
Sleep really matters
When you’re sleeping at odd times, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that your sleep is less important than whatever is taking place around you. But you can’t care for your patients properly if you are exhausted, and if you’re not getting enough sleep on a regular basis, you will eventually burn out and possibly get sick. Look at your sleep patterns and figure out how you can get a full night’s sleep even if it’s the middle of the day. You may need to darken your room, sleep in a bed that’s far from the main living area in your home or hire a babysitter so you can get your shut-eye.
You’ve got health on your mind at all times, but you shouldn’t only be concerned about your patients’ wellbeing. In a small amount of time, you can stay healthy yourself and enjoy a long and happy life.