As a nurse, it’s your job to care for the health and well-being of your patients, making sure their dietary and exercise needs are met. But what about your health? It can be very overwhelming to maintain a healthy lifestyle while working irregular hours, especially during 12-hour shifts. However, you’ll find that making healthy choices and planning ahead is what it takes to lead a healthy lifestyle – even when it seems least convenient.
Not sure where to start?
Check out these tips to make your next 12-hour shift the healthiest one yet!
Plan Meals and Snacks
If you don’t plan ahead, you’re setting yourself up to fail! Taking a couple hours each week to buy and plan nutritious meals and snacks will put you in a better position to make healthier choices and resist unhealthy temptations on the job. You’ll want to incorporate a variety of protein-based foods to give you fuel and energy to last throughout your shift. Remember, regardless of your weight or specific health goals, making healthy diet choices will improve the way you feel physically and mentally.
Move Whenever Possible
Though it’s not always possible to get in a full 30-minute walk during your shift, make an effort to stretch and move whenever possible. Whether it’s taking a longer walk to the bathroom or choosing to stand instead of sit, these simple movements can help you stay active and reduce the amount of time you’re sedentary at work. You’ll also feel less sluggish and more energized!
Get Enough Rest
A lack of adequate sleep can easily leave you tired and restless, and underperforming during your shift. Though working erratic hours can result in less than ideal sleep patterns, it is imperative to establish a consistent sleeping ritual. To improve the quality of your rest, it’s always helpful to unwind after work with a hot bath or yoga session. It’s also important to plan family time and chores around your sleep schedule to avoid interrupted rest.
The answer to a healthy lifestyle doesn’t come from constant coffee breaks, but rather a willingness to learn what is best for your body and take action to ensure your health needs are met on the job. Taking the steps above is paramount to your health and will improve your energy levels at work, especially during long shifts.
If you’re seeking new medical employment opportunities to advance your nursing career or looking to pick up extra shifts for some extra money, let Medical Staffing Network open new doors for you today.