Nurse Self Care – The Importance of Exercise

Nurse Self Care – The Importance of Exercise

Nursing is certainly one of the most stressful and demanding jobs you can ever hope to do. It’s also one of the most rewarding. Nurse self care is vital in this role, and one important factor in self care is exercise.

Of course, when you’ve been working a long hard shift, the last thing you may want to do is exercise. Yes, you know it’s good for you, but do you have the energy? Many nurses naturally have a level of exercise as part of their daily routine, particularly if they work in an area like A&E or have a district nursing job.

Unfortunately, at least one study has found that as many as 1 in 4 nurses are thought to be overweight. It’s led to calls for employers such as the NHS to do more to keep their staff in good health.

Nurse Self Care: The Benefits of Exercise

  • Even a small amount of exercise improves physical fitness and boosts energy levels
  • Regular exercise as part of a healthy eating routine is the best way to ensure that you maintain a good weight
  • Exercise actually makes you feel good, releasing endorphins that put you in a great mood
  • When you exercise regularly, you look good and that can give your self esteem a big boost
  • Exercise builds endurance, something that’s important in many aspects of healthcare work

It’s not just the physical side of things that exercise helps with. It has been shown to reduce stress and promote good sleep leading to a better sense of overall well-being.

Nurse Self Care: How to Bring Exercise Into Your Daily Routine

There are plenty of ways to incorporate exercise into your daily routine and it doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming. For a start, a brisk walk once a day for just 15 minutes can get your blood flowing and improve energy levels. The trick is to find something that suits you and which can be easily incorporate into your life. If you love going to the gym, that’s great, but not everybody does. The good news is there are excellent ways to practise your nurse self care and exercise at home.

You could jump on an exercise bike or simply buy yourself a skipping rope, for example. Both are great for getting the heart rate up. You can even exercise while you’re at work. Doing a few squats, side stretches or jumping jacks when you have a spare moment help release all those endorphins as well as shake off the pressures of the day. Could you walk to work instead of driving or taking public transport?

Department of Health guidelines suggest that we should all be getting at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a week. What does moderate mean? If you’re getting slightly out of breath while doing your exercise, then you’re probably doing it just right.

Here are a few exercise options you may want to consider:

  • Joining an exercise club: There are many that operate outside nowadays in parks and on promenades around the country and they’re great if you want to join in with other people (you may even make a few new friends locally!)
  • Take up yoga: It’s perfect for stretching those limbs and muscles but is low impact enough to not be too strenuous on the body
  • Try hill walking in the country: The countryside is beautiful, and its free. Just get yourself a pair of comfy walking shoes and you’re ready to go (this will also help you to unwind mentally)
  • Go for a swim at your local leisure centre: This is one of the best all-round exercises and also not too impactful on joints
  • See if high intensity training is right for you: HIIT involves quick bursts of exercise and has been show to improve fitness quickly. It’s also a great exercise option for those who are short of time

If you’re working in healthcare or you are in need of nurse self care, it’s never too early or too late to start creating your own special exercise regime. Start with a few simple changes and you’ll soon see a difference.

 

Go Nurse is The Stress Free Nursing Agency for London nurses. Our nurses accept shifts, update availability, see upcoming shifts and find shift locations simply via our easy to use mobile phone app! Is it time you made a change? Register online today for nursing shifts across London.

Nurse Self Care – Get Enough Sleep!

Nurse Self Care – Get Enough Sleep!

If you can’t remember the last time you had a good night’s sleep, you’ve got something in common with about 68% of the population. In our over-stressed world, it seems we’re getting less than our allotted 8 hours a night and that can have a huge impact on overall health and well-being. Any nurse who has looked closely at their own nurse self care may well highlight lack of sleep as a problem. The issue with many jobs in healthcare is that they do not run 9 to 5. Nurses can find themselves working long shifts at different times of the day or night. This in itself can impact on the natural sleep cycle and make it difficult to get the required rest.

In the stressful environments that most nurses operate, it’s no surprise that many often suffer ongoing sleep deprivation. Many nurses also just accept this as the norm rather than trying to do something about it.

Nurse Self Care: The Importance of Sleep

  • Good sleep means that you wake up feeling refreshed and recharged
  • Those who experience poor sleep tend to eat more and are likelier to exhibit signs of obesity
  • A bad night’s sleep can impact on concentration and productivity in the workplace
  • There is some evidence that poor sleepers are more likely to suffer from heart problems
  • If you are at risk of diabetes 2, not getting enough sleep can affect your glucose metabolism
  • Lack of sleep can affect your immune system and is an integral part of a healthy lifestyle

Stress can also be a bit factor in sleep problems. Learning to cope with stress is vital if you want to improve your health and well being. Of course, if you’re always working odd shifts, the lack of continuity can also add to your problems.

Nurse Self Care: How to Get a Better Night’s Sleep

It is recommended that you get, on average, 8 hours sleep a night. This doesn’t count however, if you are tossing and turning all night and not actually resting. Chances are you’ll wake up feeling more tired than when you went to bed.

If you work shifts, the main thing you have to contend with is the changing time of day when you go to bed. We all have a natural sleep rhythm and this can really become unbalanced when working nights and then switching to days. A lot depends on whether you can settle into a routine and what your work schedule is like. It also depends on you as an individual.

  • You might, for instance, if you work regular shifts, experiment with the time you go to bed to see what works best for you
  • If you’ve been on nights for a while, coming home and having a short sleep and then getting up and going to bed early may help you get back into rhythm
  • If you are about to go on your first night shift, having a short sleep beforehand may ensure that you stay alert during the early hours

One major impact for nurses and those working in healthcare is that lack of sleep can lead to lack of concentration. That means mistakes may be made at critical times.

Take your nurse self care seriously and attempt to find solutions rather than continuing to live in a sleep deprived way. The are many great resources online that you can use and adapt to help yourself get a better nights sleep.

Here are just a few to get you started:

 

Go Nurse is The Stress Free Nursing Agency for London nurses. Our nurses accept shifts, update availability, see upcoming shifts and find shift locations simply via our easy to use mobile phone app! Is it time you made a change? Register online today for nursing shifts across London.

Nurse Self Care – Healthy Eating Habits

Nurse Self Care – Healthy Eating Habits

Nobody is more aware of the benefits of healthy eating than a nurse. The trouble is, with the demanding and stressful job of nursing, it is easy for nurses themselves get into bad habits. Eating on the go, opting for quick but unhealthy food and working odd shifts can all have a huge impact on dietary habits. Nurse self care very much includes healthy eating options.

A survey by the Nursing Times a couple of years ago found that stress is a big driver when it comes to unhealthy eating habits in nurses. While 80% confessed to having missed important meals because they were working, nearly half also admitted to grabbing a quick bite on the move, usually something unhealthy like a burger.

While many nurses do make the effort to eat healthily because they know how important it is, many find it difficult. After a long, hard shift, it’s so easy to pick up a takeaway because it’s a quick and easy comfort food rather than having to prepare a balanced meal. There are other issues that get in the way of developing those healthy eating habits. If you are also a parent, this can be another factor affecting the time you have to spend on planning and preparing for your own nutritional needs.

For most nurses it is not that they don’t know what healthy eating is but that life simply gets in the way. The good news is that a few simple changes and planning techniques can make an enormous difference!

Nurse Self Care: Keep a Food Diary

We often underestimate the amount we are eating and are unaware of what we are actually putting into our bodies, and it can be difficult to keep track. That’s why starting a food diary will make a big difference and help you address any problems such as having too many unhealthy options on your plate. At the end of each week, read back through your food diary – you will be amazed at how many unhealthy options creep in!

Nurse Self Care: Don’t Try to Change All at Once

It can be a major challenge completely changing your diet in one go. Break your nutritional goals down into smaller ‘bite-size’ chunks and address each meal and each day individually.

Nurse Self Care: Increase Your Water Intake

Most people who lead busy and stressful lives, tend to have a problem with hydration. While that fizzy drink or coffee may seem highly appealing, swapping for a healthy bottle of water can leave you more energised and awake. Regular drinking of water will also help you manage your appetite as often when our body tells us that it is hungry, it is actually telling us that we are dehydrated.

Nurse Self Care: Opt For Healthy Snack Options

Healthy snacking does not have to mean boring or tasteless. That may have been the case in the past but there are plenty of different options to choose from today that give you a tasty, energy boost without damaging your health. Here is a list of healthy snack options that are quick and easy to prepare.

Nurse Self Care: Cut Out Processed Food

A big, modern day health challenge is eating too much processed food – not only does it contain high amounts of sugar and salt, it’s also not nutritious. While a ready meal might sound appealing, try to get into the habit of eating fresh produce as much as you can – it’s much tastier anyway!

Nurse Self Care: Sit Down to Eat

Do you spend most of your time eating on the go? Take time to sit down and enjoy your meal without any interruptions. When your shift ends, don’t slump down in front of the television with a tray, sit down and have a proper meal at the dining table – or try to do this at least 4 times a week.

Nurse Self Care: Plan and Prepare

Any nurse will tell you – there is never enough time! However spending a bit of time planning meals, will actually save you time in the long run. You can plan and prepare meals that you can freeze and then just defrost and heat to eat. Each week plan your shopping list and prepare meals for the following week, so you don’t end up buying last minute unhealthy snacks and take aways.

Planning makes it much easier to make healthy choices and that includes what you take to work with you to snack on. Make it a priority and you should discover that you find it quicker to get into healthy eating habits.

 

Go Nurse is The Stress Free Nursing Agency for London nurses. Our nurses accept shifts, update availability, see upcoming shifts and find shift locations simply via our easy to use mobile phone app! Is it time you made a change? Register online today for nursing shifts across London.