Being a nurse can be rewarding yet stressful at the same time. That is why self care is important to maintain a healthy balance. As nurses, we are taught to take care of others, but when it comes to our own self-care we are reluctant due to whatever reasons we may have. It’s important to bring awareness to our personal needs, so we can better serve others. This blog may be geared towards nurses, however anyone can implement these practices into their daily routine.
Tip #1: Meditation
Enrich your mind and soul with meditation. It can help you handle stress a lot better and helps you become more mindful. Before getting out of bed in the morning, I start my meditation. Somedays it’s 5 minutes, some days I am able to meditate longer. Try to quiet the mind before reaching for your phone. During my meditation, I express gratitude and focus on the breath. An example of what I say in my mind to begin my meditation is: “Thank you Lord for this beautiful day. Thank you for sending your anointing upon me and my family. I am grateful for health, wealth and happiness”. You can also find guided meditation apps to help you. Apps I like are Breath, Relax Meditation and Headspace.
Try to incorporate mediation, I promise it will change your life.
Tip #2 Exercise
When you’re tired from a long ass shift, the last thing you want to do is work out (I know this firsthand). But girl, let me tell you that even just 10 minutes of light workout can do wonders for your mind and body. I love me some yoga. I usually do my own flow, but I also like using yoga videos on YouTube to guide my practice. Lately, I’ve been doing T25 and weightlifting. My wife bought some awesome Rouge weights and since then I’ve been obsessed. Do whatever you can to get your blood flowing. Go for a walk in nature or ride bikes with your kids. The biggest challenge is finding the strength to get your butt out there and move. Just do it, you’ll be glad you did.
Tip #3 Eat a well balanced meal
Nourish yourself with good food. I love to cook, but sometimes I’m too exhausted after work and cooking is the last thing I want to do. So for days like this, I make sure I meal prep. Meal prepping is a life saver. Some make ahead items I like are: rice, tofu, salad (minus the dressing), overnight oats and vegetables. These hold up well in the fridge for a few days.
Another easy way to get good nutrition is to have greens, seaweed, nuts, oats and fruit on hand. I have bundles of lettuce and herbs in my fridge so I can toss them in with any dish. I have apples, oranges and bananas just chillin’ on my counter. Fruit is fast food, so grab them and eat them. Lastly, I love making a green smoothie after a long day. You get your greens and it’s a breeze to make. Make eating healthy easy so you don’t reach for unhealthy options every night.
Tip #4 Unplug
A lot of time is spent wasted on our phones. Browsing on social media or youtube turns into hours of wasted time. I’m def guilty of this and have made it a must to unplug for a few hours after work. I noticed that since doing this I am able to use my time doing more important things like spending quality time with my family. If I have any emails I need to return, I usually do this after my daughter goes to sleep.
Another rule I enforce in my house is to never have our phones at the dinner table. If you didn’t know, having your phone on the table (even if it is face down and on silent) communicates to others at the table that they aren’t worthy of your time. Crazy but true.
Overall, I think that we should spend less time on our phones. Our generation is susceptible to developing digital dementia because we rely so much on our smart phones. Some people have a hard time functioning without their phone calendars and most of us don’t even know our loved ones phone numbers. Isn’t that crazy?! Listen, I know having our phones has it’s benefits, but like with anything, moderation is key. Less time on our phones, means more time for self care and family time. Also, the radiation your phone emits is hazardous to your health. Ok, end rant LOL!
Tip #5: Tap into your inner creative badass self
Whether your forte is to sing, dance, cook, write poetry or head bang to Metallica, make time for it. It doesn’t have to be a daily thing, but at least once a week. Doing this can benefit us greatly.
I love to sing so I record once a week, it soothes my soul.
Tip #6: Pamper yo’ self
Take a bath, drink your favorite beverage (matcha is bae), listen to your fave music, give yourself a pedicure, pluck your eyebrows or do some skin care. Doing this will help you feel rejuvenated. Let’s be real, when you feel good you look good.
My daily self care routine is drinking tea or apple cider vinegar, hydrating with plenty of water, cleansing and massaging my face with high quality oils and reading a motivational book. My weekly routine is applying an oil hair mask, dry brushing, taking a bath, using a turmeric or mud mask, and cleansing my space with sage or palo santo. My honey and I love getting a couples massage. Massages are great for circulation and relaxation.
Be sure to invest time into your self care. It will make a world of a difference in your physical and mental health.
Tip #7 Get plenty of sleep
Why do you think Jennifer Lopez looks like that? She gets plenty of beauty sleep. When you’re fatigued, it’ll wreak havoc on your body. You become irritable, your skin may break out, you may feel an overall malaise since lack of sleep can weaken your immune system, weight gain, and brain fog. Ain’t no body got time for that! So hit the sack early. Turn the tv off and wine down with your bedtime rituals.
I hope these tips motivate you to take charge of your health. Try to incorporate these into your daily routine. A badass nurse like you deserves a badass self care routine. Be good to yourself.