7 Ways You Can Prioritize Your Health and Wellbeing as a Nursing Student
From a young age, many people know what career path they would like to pursue. If you have a caring personality, are passionate about helping those in need, and want to make a positive difference in patients' lives, becoming a nurse is a no brainer. No matter what field of nursing catches your eye, you will need to obtain specific qualifications to work in the nursing world.
Once you attend nursing school and embark on your degree, your health and wellbeing need to be at the forefront of your mind. To deliver excellent care and treatment to patients, you need to be in the right frame of mind yourself, so here are some of the best ways to keep your health in check during your time as a nursing student.
Choose the Right Course
Before you head into the nursing world, you must have a solid idea of what field interests you most and what you believe you will be good at. There is no point in spending a lot of time, money, and concentration on a course that offers little to no value in the long run. And, if you make the mistake of choosing the wrong nursing program, you will struggle to stay motivated and focused.
If you would like to become a nurse practitioner, for example, click here to learn more about what steps you must take to fulfill your career goals. Any course you embark on must be carefully thought through, so make sure you look into entry requirements, career prospects, and past alumni reviews.
During your nursing career, there may be many instances where you guide patients to eat healthier to protect their health, meaning you should practice what you preach and follow a balanced diet yourself. Before a long shift at the hospital begins, you need to fuel your mind and body with the right foods to keep your energy levels up.
A healthy, balanced diet will ensure you get the right vitamins and nutrients. While you may think junk food and energy drinks will keep your stamina up throughout a shift, you're more likely to burn out, so try and stick to foods packed with protein that will keep you fuller for longer.
Make Time for Sleep
There is no doubt about it, as a nurse, you will likely work all sorts of shift patterns. Whether it's early mornings, evenings, or weekends, this can make it hard to maintain a regular sleep schedule. If you struggle to get a good night's rest as it is, one of the best things you can do is block off plenty of time to dedicate towards sleep.
If you're the type of person who is easily distracted, there are many sleep-boosting tips you can take on board, such as hiding your smartphone, as well as creating a peaceful sleeping environment. Before you begin a shift, you need to be alert and focused, otherwise, you run the risk of making mistakes and putting patients' lives at risk. As a nursing student, you will have deadlines you must meet, so instead of staying up the night before to get everything done, make sure you understand time management and make sleep a priority.
As a nursing student, there will be all kinds of pressure and stress on your shoulders. To help stay engaged with your coursework and learning, you must make time for daily exercise. Regular physical activity can reduce anxiety, boost your cardiovascular health, and clear your mindset.
While gyms may be closed at the moment due to COVID-19, there are many exercises you can perform from the comfort of your living room which will keep your energy and stamina levels in check. Taking 30 minutes to an hour out of your day for exercise will benefit your mind and body.
When faced with stress, many nursing students struggle to get a handle on it. If your mind constantly fills with worrying thoughts, you need to have a technique that brings your stress levels down and helps you perform better with your work. Lots of nursing students swear by meditation which can provide invaluable benefits for your mental and physical wellbeing, such as controlling anxiety and reducing age-related memory loss.
Whether you're worried about a particular module, or you have a deadline looming, you should set aside time to meditate. Doing so gives you a chance to get away from your workload, focus on the present, and increase patience and tolerance.
Speak to Your Family and Friends
No matter how well prepared you are for nursing school, there will be modules and aspects of your course that you may struggle with. If you're having difficulty keeping on top of things, having a strong support network of family and friends around you can make a big difference. Knowing there are loved ones to turn to for support and guidance will help keep you motivated with your course.
Regardless of what you're going through, you should never suffer in silence. Your inner circle will want to be there for you every step of the way, so don't hesitate to reach out if you're struggling. If you don't feel comfortable speaking to a loved one, make sure you book a doctor's appointment.
Try a New Hobby
When embarking on a nursing degree, while your primary focus will be on achieving top grades, you need to factor in some time for yourself too. If you don't have some 'me' time, you will burn out quickly. You can use your free time to your advantage by taking up a new hobby that will teach you new skills.
Whether you like dancing, sports, arts and crafts, or exercise, there are lots of hobbies you can perform both alone or as a group that can boost your social life and help you find a good balance between studying and having fun.
There are numerous reasons why thousands of people go into nursing every year. Whether it's to make a difference, for development opportunities, to access quick training options, or to work in an exciting and fast-paced industry, the skills and talents you develop during your degree will help you perform at your best.
To get the most out of your program and pass with flying colors, keep the above advice in mind.