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Taking Care Of Yourself As A Busy Nurse

Nursing is physically and mentally hard work. Not only are they taking care of their patients all day, but most often they come home to families that need them too. And the saying goes you can’t pour from an empty cup. So, working on that basis, if you are a nurse, you need to take care of yourself as well. Which sounds like trying to play a game of Tetris, but you can give more of yourself to people, when you are well taken care of yourself. So while you are running around in your Grey's Anatomy by Barco scrubs - take a beat to think about what you need right now.

So let’s take a look at some things that you can do in terms of self-care.


Taking Care Of Yourself As A Busy Nurse


Self-care assessment

You are used to assessing people all day long. Time to turn that skill on yourself. Think about the last time you have a long soak. More than just a minimal 6 hours of sleep. How about taking a walk in the morning just because you could?

Are you paying attention to yourself? Eat well?

Be honest and think about what you do to look after yourself. Make a note of it.


Diagnosis!

You are going to have to diagnose which areas you think you need to most attention in. Admitting that you have been neglecting yourself is the start of something beautiful. It might be somewhere about now that you realise how burned out you are feeling. Which is actually great because it means you can stop the real burnout from hitting you like a freight somewhere in the next few months.
While you are at it, you probably need to address what you are eating and drinking. Almost all nurses have to try and fit in food while they can on shift. And the quickest thing to grab is a biscuit.


Planning

You are going to need to map out what you need to do in the next few weeks of months to take care of yourself. It might be as simple as not having to take care of the chores one day a week. Getting to read a chapter of a book you have been desperate for. Or take a three-hour walk with your family and a bag of ham sandwiches. Sometimes we don’t know which one will work so plan in all of them.


Actually Doing It

While you might feel like knowing where you need some love and attention is enough - it isn’t. You actually need to do things - like drink extra water, eat an apple and soak your feet after the most extended shift you can imagine.


Evaluating

In 6 months from the day you made notes about yourself, you should take a look at what you thought you needed and if you gave yourself to work on it. If you can see you didn’t and the same things apply, then you need to get more serious about it.

It is also worth remembering that other people want to take care of you, so while you are always in care-taker mode, you should let people do small things for you to show you that they care.

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