Don’t feel guilty about making self-care a priority

From taking the time to find quality, comfortable work shoes to eating healthy and getting proper rest, self-care is an important part of being a top-notch nurse to your patients.

This year, make self-care a top priority. Our Easy Self-Care Tips for Nurses digital edition features articles on nutrition, sleep habits, relaxation methods and other strategies that can have positive impacts at home and work.

“As nurses we’re no strangers to things like stress, burnout or compassion fatigue, nor are we unfamiliar with physical, emotional or mental exhaustion,” writes Eileen Williamson, MSN, RN, in her article. “But we can’t just say, ‘it goes with the territory,’ because it doesn’t need to. Self-care can be the antidote that can help decrease each of those things, but the first step is to give yourself permission for that self-care.”

Good eats, healthy treats

Nutrition expert Julie Stefanski, MEd, RDN, CSSD, LDN, CDE, discusses ways nurses can improve their diets, providing tips such as planning simple meals and making breakfast a priority. She points out the irony of nurses working hard to ensure their patients eat healthy and stay hydrated without always following their own advice.

“Purchasing healthy food is the first step toward eating it,” Stefanski writes. “Focus on whole, unprocessed foods. This helps to avoid foods that have a long list of ingredients, artificial colors, preservatives, trans fat, etc. Try to replace processed items with fresh, lean meats, whole grains and whole fruits and vegetables.”

Speaking of healthy eating, don’t miss our list of nutritious “scrub snacks” that will fuel you further than anything you might find in a vending machine or fast-food drive thru.

Walking (or running) the healthy path

Taking steps toward improved self-care can start with the right footwear. See what types of shoes fellow nurses prefer and why shoe choice is so essential to the profession in “Choose your nursing shoes wisely,” an infographic created from a recent survey we conducted.

Also featured in the edition is the inspiring journey of Toni Scott, MSN, RN, from an unhealthy lifestyle that included smoking and dining out to founding her own yoga studio and helping other nurses transform their health.

The edition also includes information on the importance of getting a good night’s sleep. In “Don’t Lose Sleep” we highlight the detrimental effects of skipping shut-eye and how it can compromise patient safety.

Exercise also is a critical component of self-care. Don’t miss tips by James F. Ross, PT, DPT, CSCS, who provides easy approaches to incorporate exercise into your daily life.

Readers also will enjoy Marcia Frellick’s interview with Carole Ann Drick, PhD, RN, AHN-BC, immediate past president of the American Holistic Nurses Association, who talks about why self-care matters. Drick explains how being mindful and present can benefit patients.

Finally, be sure to check out our tips for adding more fun into your life — another basic self-care element — along with the continuing education module Get Happy.

Read our Easy Self-Care for Tips for Nurses edition today and get started on the road to a happier and healthier you!

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