Nurse Self-Care Should be a Priority

Nurses receive joy when they care for others, but unfortunately, many do not take care of themselves. There is no guilt in taking the time you need to make sure you take a “time out” for yourself.

To follow are some steps that will help you to be the best you can be so that you can take the best care of others.

What types of activities do you engage in regularly that contribute to your well-being and health? Do you actively care for your emotional life?

Diagnose a self-care deficit:

Take the time to write down all the areas you can improve by evaluating what you don’t do but know you should. Do you take regular vacations or a time-out to walk on the beach? How about watching what you eat? You’re a nurse, so you know what is right & wrong when it comes to nutrition.

Plan a course of action:

If you are always worried or stressed, getting into counseling or psychotherapy may be in order. Also, if you are eating whatever you can lay your hands on, take steps to get back on track by following what you know are healthy habits.

Make it happen:

Take all of the information you collected in the above two steps and draft an actual plan to improve your overall well-being. This could start with a 3-day vacation to get you started, but make sure you shut down and clear your head. Don’t spend all your time on social media where it doesn’t allow your brain to rest and take in all the beautiful things going on around you.

Evaluate your accomplishments:

This is where you look back and see if the actions you took to “get back to yourself” are working. If you set your goals too big, it won’t happen. Baby steps make it easier, and then you can graduate to more lofty goals. Be flexible with yourself and allow yourself to learn and experiment as you go.

Whether you need exercise, counseling, a vacation, or time to read magazines in the bathtub, it’s your responsibility to make it happen. Nursing is a demanding profession, and we want to make sure you are at the top of your own list.