Self-Care Tips for Nurses

Self-Care Tips for Nurses

How do you feel at the end of the day after working a full shift? Probably stressed and exhausted, right? There’s never a shortage of things to do at work and never a shortage of things to do at home.

Your average shift may include a heavy workload, demanding family members, workplace politics, and other stressors. Finally, it’s time to leave.  You go home feeling exhausted. Physically you are now home, but psychologically and emotionally you are still at work. It’s as if your work takes over your mind and you cannot clear your mind even when you are off-shift.

The list of ‘things to do’ seems to get longer every day, and the stress just keeps piling higher and higher. Just thinking about everything makes you feel tired.

We can’t shorten that list of stressors and things to do. But what we can do is give you solid tips and actions you can take at the end of the day shift to support your wellbeing. These are self-care tips that’ll help you relax and de-stress.

#1 Find ways to clear your mind.

Here’s why this is so important:

  1. An overworked mind is a mind that cannot de-stress. It’s been proven that too many days of high unhealthy levels of stress can lead to illness. We know this as nurses.
  2. You need to be there for your patients, but you also need to be there for your family. If you are still in the work mindset, you are definitely not there for your family. You are only partially there.

Here are some tips for clearing your mind:

Build up your letting-go-muscles. This is a skill. Learn to let go of patient issues, work issues, etc. I call this the ‘letting go’ muscles. Most of ours are underdeveloped. We are so used to things happening and then we harp on them. They run through our minds over, and over again. One of the fastest –and most obvious- ways to accomplish this is to become more aware of what you are thinking. This way you can stop yourself when the thought train starts.

Another obvious solution is to catch yourself talking about the issue. Typically, the issues that occur that we get stuck on –and have difficulty letting go of- are the ones that we harp on and on about. Yes, it is sometimes good to vent about something, but there is a big difference in venting and complaining (harping on and on incessantly). Despite your co-workers and families nodding of the head, they will also be glad when you stop this habit.

#2 Adopt healthy self-care habits for the end of the day

Habits are the backbone of the actions we take. It is said we are creatures of habit for a reason. The things that become habitual for us, are the things we do repeatedly, automatically, with ease. This is the beauty of habits. Try implementing a few self-care habits into your life.

Here are a few examples of self-care habits you can try: Spend at least 20 minutes doing something that feels rejuvenating.  Here are a few ideas:

  • Give yourself a hand massage
  • Foot soak
  • Facial
  • Take a walk
  • Read a book
  • Sit and do nothing (yes, imagine that. Do nothing)
  • Listen to a playlist of your favorites
  • Do deep stretches (you can find many on YouTube for inspiration)
  • Pray or meditate
  • Give yourself a manicure
  • Give yourself a pedicure
  • Take a relaxing bubble bath
  • Disconnect from your phone/computer/any other device

Simple self-care habits at the end of the day can help you unwind and reset from a stressful day. Find ways to clear the mind and layer in these habits until they become a regular part of your life.

Clearing the mind after a stressful day at work helps you to relax quicker, and helps to alleviate stress. It’s a healthy habit that can help you deal with this wonderful, but demanding profession.

Vent about something, but there is a big difference in venting and complaining (harping on and on incessantly). Despite your co-workers and families nodding of the head, they will also be glad when you stop this habit.

  • Adopt healthy habits that take up your attention. The concept of habits is vital. Habits are the backbone of the actions we take. It is said we are creatures of habit for a reason. The things that become habitual for us, are the things we do repeatedly, automatically, with ease. This is the beauty of habits.

Clearing the mind after a stressful day at work helps you to relax quicker, and helps to alleviate stress. It’s a healthy habit that can help you deal with this wonderful, but demanding profession.

text box with self care ideas for nurses

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