AMN Healthcare provided this article.
As you ring in the new year, you may make some New Year’s resolutions. This year, the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN) is embracing a “Start Now” theme to help nurses live healthy lives in 2023.
Learn how to take control of your health and put yourself first this year.
Healthy Habits for Travel Nurses
Maintain a Healthy Diet
As a travel nurse, you probably often remind patients of the importance of a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, and lean protein. If you’re not taking professional advice, though, now is a great time to recommit to healthier eating habits.
Pressed for time, like many nurses are?
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, these strategies may help you:
- Use a meal kit or meal delivery service. These are convenient when you don’t have the time or energy to prepare a meal. All you have to do is follow the instructions.
- Order lighter fare at restaurants and fast food restaurants. Vegetable-based entrees, as well as grilled chicken or baked or broiled fish, can be good options.
- Watch your portion sizes. You can still indulge. Just do it in smaller amounts.
Don’t Discount Your Own Needs
If you’re suffering from nurse burnout, you’re not alone. And it may have come from prioritizing everyone else before yourself. Many nurses have internalized a mindset that they must “be a good, nice, acceptable person,” says Ann Becks, MSN, a nurse practitioner who retired so she could spend some time reconnecting with herself and mentoring others.
“When people learn the skills and tools to unhook from this conditioned way of responding and feel the groundedness of their truth, everything changes.”
So, don’t discount your own needs, physical and emotional. You’ll also do a better job caring for others if you’re taking care of yourself.
Even the small stuff counts. “It sounds cliche to say, ‘go take a walk’ or ‘build a Lego tower with your children’ or ‘read something you enjoy’ or ‘find a few minutes to gather with friends,’ but these small things truly make a big difference in your overall well-being,” says Sisk.
Get up and move more
Yes, you are on your feet a lot at work. But it would be best if you made some time to exercise to experience the many benefits that will improve your life. Research suggests that regular exercise will help you lose weight or maintain weight loss, sleep better at night, decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease, build bone and muscle strength, and improve your mood.
The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderately-intense exercise to get your heart pumping per week. And yes, you can break it up into manageable chunks of time to make it fit better into your busy schedule.
Somethings to Try
- Brisk walking
- Water aerobics
Check with your employer to see if you get any relevant benefits. Sisk noted that Memorial Hermann offers on-site gym facilities and organizes competitive activities, such as weight loss and walking competitions, to motivate employees to incorporate more exercise into their lives.
Be intentional in all you do
Whatever you choose to do to improve your health, be intentional about it. You might even replace your New Year’s resolutions with intentions to help you maintain a positive attitude and make positive changes to your life.
“An intention focuses on your core values rather than some hard-to-attain goal,” says Teri Dreher, RN, founder of NShore Patient Advocates, based in Chicago. “It can be a powerful tool for change because it is forgiving and gives you room to explore and grow.”
2023 can be your healthiest yet! You can set out to make healthier choices. We hope that this list of tips helps get you started. Have you made any changes in your life to be your healthiest? Comment them below.