Working as a healthcare professional is a great career. Not only does it pay well, but it gives you a sense of fulfillment. It also allows you to help people recover from illnesses and become part of their lives in the long term. Despite giving this job your all, however, it can be challenging and frustrating at times. Although you are paid to take care of others, you should prioritize your own well-being and see to your physical, emotional, and mental needs. When you do not care for yourself, it is difficult to care for others.
You are not alone if you feel overwhelmed at work and are unsure what to do at times. It could be that you have not taken the time to ask the right questions about creating a proper work/life balance. Being in the right frame of mind helps you care for your patients better. If you are a healthcare worker who is searching for ways to stay fit and healthy while at work, consider these helpful tips.
Protect yourself from infections
Healthcare professionals are exposed to a range of diseases because they come in direct contact with ill patients. One excellent way to protect yourself from bacteria is by washing your hands after coming into contact with a patient.
Depending on your patient’s ailment, you should also protect yourself by strictly adhering to all personal protective equipment guidelines. During the outbreak of coronavirus in 2020, many healthcare providers were infected because the disease is highly contagious. A slight mistake with the PPE could become a disaster. As a nurse, you should make sure you are vaccinated against illnesses such as hepatitis B, measles, chickenpox, yellow fever and influenza. With a DNP-FNP degree, you can gain clinical experience that positions you to lead patient care as you’ll be earning the highest credential available for clinical nursing practice. This allows you to learn better ways to protect yourself while still catering to the needs of your patients.
Consume a healthy diet
Many healthcare practitioners neglect their own diet, despite advising patients on the best foods to eat. Sometimes, they are too busy to take the time to eat healthy foods. Although PPE is excellent for protecting you against contagious diseases, you need good food to help boost your immunity against illnesses.
Proper nutrition and hydration are crucial in performing your job well. It prevents dizziness, fatigue, dehydration, fainting, irregular heartbeat and other symptoms. As a healthcare worker, you should create time to eat and drink enough water while on duty. Focus on foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals, protein, and fiber, and be sure to drink plenty of clean water. To guarantee sufficient hydration, do not forget to consume fluid-filled foods such as soup, vegetables, and fruits.
Correct your sleeping habits
Nurses often advise their patients to sleep at least eight hours daily but cannot manage to do so themselves. After your shift, you might be tempted to binge-watch movies to relax; before you know it, it’s time for work again and you resume your shift tired and do not perform optimally.
Sleep is essential for your mental and physical well-being. Sometimes, getting enough sleep might be difficult due to the nature of your job, but it is achievable. Some fitness apps can help you control stress and keep track of your sleeping habits while advising you on the best way to stay healthy.
Insufficient sleep increases your chances of getting sick. It is also connected to diabetes, obesity, and other chronic illnesses. Establish a good sleep and wake cycle because it will help you in the long run. Keeping your phone far from your bed can help you get more sleep and avoid distractions.
Exercising is sometimes stressful, and many healthcare workers would rather rest than exercise. One of the biggest problems with working as a nurse is that you are always on your feet. Standing for long periods can result in swollen feet. This happens when excess blood pools due to gravity fighting natural blood circulation back to the heart. Exercise helps to improve blood circulation back to the heart and prevents your legs from swelling. You could visit the gym for serious exercises, but there are also some basic moves you can perform at home that can help, such as walking, chair matches, push-ups, bridges, and seated shoulder rolls.
Stay mentally fit
While some nurses have no trouble staying on top of their physical health, mental health is often neglected. Some of the challenges you might be facing at work could be related to a strain on your mental health. Healthcare jobs are mentally draining, especially when you are dealing with a difficult patient on a regular basis. When a patient dies, it can have a big impact on your mental health. You may have chosen this career because you want to help people, but that doesn’t mean you need to accept burnout, loss of compassion, anxiety, depression, and a loss of interest in your career. If you notice these signs, speak to an expert. You can also control your mental health by maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Healthcare workers are saddled with the responsibility of caring for the sick. However, this doesn’t mean they must compromise their health while doing their jobs. You can maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating a healthy diet, caring for your mental health, exercising, and protecting yourself from diseases.