Nursing is stressful. Caring for one human being's every need when they are able bodied is tough enough. Caring for ten when they are not, can be a nightmare. Sometimes you need a break, a permanent vacation to the tropics, never to return!
Okay, we all know that's not very realistic. Maybe you only have one day off. What are some things you can do do relax, unwind and rejuvenate, so you feel ready to return to work refreshed? Caring for yourself should always be your number one priority, and all too often nurses forget this. But you can't possible care for others effectively if you're a train wreck.
Here are some awesome tips to help you revitalize on your day off:
Lay off the Vino
Don't drink alcohol. Although it may seem like a good idea and that third glass of wine seems to do the trick helping you forget a hectic day. It will actually do you more harm than good. You won't sleep well if you drink because alcohol deprives us of R.E.M sleep. This deprivation doesn't help you feel refreshed. Instead, you'll be hung over and tired.
Try working out instead. Exercise will help you forget about a long crazy day and give you a great nights sleep. Try some yoga. If you don't know how to do yoga, sign up for a class. You learn by doing, and it's a great way to relax.
Get a massage
Massages are wonderful for releasing tension that you may not even know you have. Find someone reputable in your area. Combine it with a manicure and pedicure, so you can feel that all over pampered feeling.
Eat right during your days off. Most of the time while nurses are working they are lucky to get a break to eat at all. Do yourself a favor and eat right on your days off. Ensure your diet is full fresh vegetables, fruit, lean meat, grains, nuts and seeds. Try to eat five small meals during the day to maintain a steady blood sugar, that will keep you feeling full longer.
And by this I don't mean ten cups of coffee. If you're going to drink coffee, try decaffeinated. Caffeine has a half life of about six hours in the body. So if you can't sleep and you're drinking a ton of coffee, switch to decaf. Try to drink plenty of water to hydrate on your days off. Headaches can be a sign of dehydration and it's no wonder nurses seem to be plagued with them. We usually don't even have time to use the restroom during work shifts, let alone drink fluid.
Spend time with family or friends doing something fun on your days off. Go to the park, the zoo or just do some therapy shopping. Play games, be silly. Life isn't and shouldn't be all about work and nursing. Forget about it by having some fun.
Get adequate rest. sleep is so important to your health and well-being. You deal with stress better when you have enough sleep. Allow for at least eight hours sleep as often as you can. If you have insomnia, try chamomile tea before bed. Melatonin and calcium are also your best friend for inducing sleep.
Do you have a tip you'd like to share with other nurses? You can comment below