The rewards of being a nurse are endless, but sometimes, the struggles of the job seem endless too. The term “nurse fatigue”, or “nurse burnout”, is growing in popularity and perfectly describes the negative effects that nursing can have on an individual.
Nursing is a stressful and demanding career, and it’s important to realize that everyone has a bad shift every now and then. There are simple things nurses can change to help keep these bad days to a minimum. Here are 3 easy tips to help you beat the nurse’s burnout, and help you love your job again.
Take Care of Yourself.
This seems obvious, right? Well, you wouldn’t believe how often nurses push their wellness to the back burner.
- Eat a balanced and nutritious diet – Stress eating is a nurse’s greatest enemy. Or maybe you are on the other end of the spectrum, and stress causes you to forget to eat completely. Break these habits! The perks of a well-balanced diet are endless and will provide you with more energy throughout the day.
- Get the right amount of sleep – Getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night is really important. Remember that too much sleep can be just a detrimental as a lack of sleep. You most likely forgot what “too much sleep” meant after becoming a nurse, but weekends can really mess with your sleep schedule. Try your best to go to sleep and wake up the same time every day.
- Exercise – Despite the fact that you are on your feet ALL DAY, and probably getting a sufficient amount of cardio in the process, exercise boosts endorphins and relieves stress! Exercise is just as important for your mind as it is for your body.
Know How Much You Can Handle.
The “ability to handle stress” was in the job description, and boy, they weren’t kidding. Working a long shift is stressful, patients can be stressful, patient’s families can be stressful, and the list goes on. You can handle a lot, but it’s important to know your limitations and know when to step back for a moment. Don’t overwork yourself; you can’t please everyone.
Self Reflect and Reward Yourself.
You haven’t had a day off in 9 days, your feet are throbbing, and you deserve a freakin’ round of applause. Unfortunately, you’re not going to get it from anyone but yourself. Don’t be afraid to pat yourself on the back every now and then. Be proud of what you’re doing, because a lot of people wouldn’t be able to handle nursing.
Nurses spend an extensive amount of time tending to the health and wellness of others. I’m sure you’re thinking “Well, duh! That’s why we got involved in this career in the first place.” But in the hype of it all, it’s important not to overlook your own physical and emotional needs. Follow these tips, and you’ll keep that nurse’s fatigue at bay.