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5 Self-Care Tips For New Graduate Nurses

Here are 5 self-care tips to help you become a rock star nurse:

Getting plenty of rest is one of the most important self-care strategies. As an experienced nurse, I too use to struggle with getting adequate rest in between shifts. Getting home after working 12+ hours can leave you feeling all kinds of ways, and more times than not, I was wired and had a lot of anxious energy to get out of my system before I was ready for bed. What I have learned to do is to stick to a bedtime routine on my work days. Finding a bedtime routine that works for you is the trickiest part, but once you do find one, you’ll be so glad you did! My bedtime routine consists of eating dinner earlier than later, sleepy time tea, lavender essential oil, and disengagement from all electronics after 9:00 PM. I do my best to fall asleep by 10:30 PM, that way I get eight hours of quality sleep.

Eating a healthy diet, and staying hydrated are essential to your success! You’ll be tempted to snack on the doughnuts that the nursing students left in the break-room, but you must resist! Eating excess sugar, fatty foods, and carbohydrates can deplete your energy levels. and cause sluggish thinking. Instead, bring healthy snacks like nuts, boiled eggs, veggies, and fruit. Also, don’t forget to drink some water every couple of hours or so. Dehydration is a big problem for nurses, and we must be diligent in drinking regularly. Take it from me, all you need is one kidney stone, and you’ll never go thirsty again! So keep drinking throughout every shift!

On my days off, I make sure that I engage in enjoyable activities that help to refuel my mind, body and soul. Activities such as gardening and spending quality time with friends and family can help to keep your stress levels low. Instead of focusing on being overly productive during your time off, spend some time for yourself to enjoy your life and those whom you love! Life is short, so make sure you really enjoy it!

Believe it or not, chronic caffeine consumption only makes things worse. Too much caffeine causes anxiety, dehydration, and gastric upset. One small cup of coffee, or espresso at the beginning or midway through your shift is generally okay. Anything more than that is not recommended, and can cause barriers to your success. In stead of reaching for the coffee when you feel sluggish, go snack on some of those healthy food items you brought to work, and drink a big glass of water – you’ll be amazed!

Professionalism, dependability, and a willingness to provide solutions within the workplace are just a few of the characteristics that help foster healthy workplace relationships. Remember that actions speak louder than words. By consistently demonstrating these desirable attributes, you will set the tone for how others should work alongside you. Nurses perform at their best when they have a support system, and healthy workplace relationships that they can depend on. So get out there, be a team player, and always be kind – no matter how rough your day may be.

Okay guys and gals, this is crucial to your success! Be sure to communicate your needs to your colleagues and ask for help! By telling your fellow nurses that you need to tend to your own needs, and asking for help, they can step in and cover your patient assignment while your recharge. Make sure your inform your patients and at least two team members of your plan. This way, you can still take the time to grab that water, snack or run to the restroom.

This Guest Blog article originally appeared on TheNurseSpeak.com 

Damion Jenkins RN, MSN is the founder and CEO of The Nurse Speak, LLC. - a nurse education and consultation services company and blog. He specializes in creating individualized tutoring plans that helps his students develop test taking strategies for success. He also offers consulting services for healthcare facilities desiring expert knowledge and understanding of professional growth and staff development principles, customer service and patient satisfaction strategies, improving nursing staff retention and job satisfaction, and workplace conflict resolution skills. His blog offers helpful tips, strategies, and discussion to enhance the nursing profession. Damion is also an adjunct professor for a local community college in the Baltimore City area, and teaches a variety of healthcare courses including: Nursing, Certified Nurse Assistant, Geriatric Nurse Assistant, Certified Patient Care Technician, IV Therapy, Phlebotomy, Certified Medicine Aide, and Nurse Refresher. With more than 20 years of customer service and leadership experience, Damion offers many resources and strategies for success that have been shown to improve the delivery of nursing care excellence. He has helped a variety of healthcare facilities create and maintain patient satisfaction committees resulting in improving survey scores and increased reimbursements, and he is often sought out to provide expert advice on how to positively impact workplace culture and job satisfaction among nursing staff.

He has joined the Pedagogy Authors with several new format inservice and regular CE courses. Click on the course names below to learn more:

Posted: 7/24/2018 9:58:40 AM
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