As nurses it is intuitive for you to care for others often at the sacrifice of your personal wellness. The nature of nursing can be high stressed and many nurses rely on unhealthy eating and sleeping habits as they provide quality care, because of this, nurses are 10% more likely to get diagnosed with a cardiovascular disease than the general population. February is American Heart Month and we have 4 tips for nurses to be more heart health conscious.
Find an Outlet
Nurses you give so much to those around you it’s important that you take time for yourself. Rediscover the hobbies you had before nursing school. Curl up with a good book and a cup of warm coffee. Do something that truly matters to you and allows you to shake off your nursing hat.
Working 12-hour shifts or overnights it is tempting to rely on carbs and sweets to get you through. Instead prepare for your shifts with easy to grab healthy options. Create snack packs of mixed nuts with dark chocolate pieces, snack bags of grapes or peeled clementines and finally water with sugar-free flavors.
Get Your Rest
Sleeping can be tricky for nurses. The demands of your career and home life sometimes don’t mix well. Start today with good sleeping habits. Stop using electronics an hour before going to bed. Make sure your room is cool and dark. Allow yourself to sleep in on the days that you are able to.
Be OK with Saying No
As a nurse it’s easy to get into the habit of saying yes to extra shifts, volunteering or being part of committees. You have to be willing to say no and allow time to do what matters most to you.
Being a nurse comes with it’s ups and downs however taking into account these four tips will help you reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. For this American Heart Month remember to take care of yourself first, then you can help and continue to serve everyone around you!