One of the most prevalent concerns about a nurse’s job is that they are mostly overworked as they give their heart and soul to their professions. Nursing is challenging, and their job keeps them on their toes. Regardless of how much hard work nurses put in, most of them wear a smile and approach patients calmly. They ensure patients have a smooth recovery by giving them their best services.
Nurses often work double shifts and stay on the job for longer hours than most other healthcare staff. Their schedules are tight, and sometimes they do not get breaks during the day. Yet they relish them whenever they do. Nurses understand the importance of a small time-out from work, and they want to make the most of their fee-time.
For nurses working in testing conditions, a few minutes of break team can be just the perfect solution to getting non-work-related things done and maintaining a healthy work-life balance. If you’re a nurse looking for a few healthy tips to utilize break time more efficiently, have a seat and enjoy the next few minutes. We’ve got some stuff for you.
- Take a walk
Taking a walk helps in relaxing muscles and can be a great stress-buster. You might be running up and down the wards looking after patients and may feel that you don’t have the energy to move during your free time. But trust us, a walk is better than sitting on a chair after tireless pacing back and forth.
The truth is, doing errands is a task and does not benefit you emotionally and mentally. Your mind stays in the whirlwind of multiple things that need your attention, and you are unable to relax. To make the most of your break and relax, you can take a walk around your workplace, and while doing so, you can put on your earphones and listen to some quality music.
- Enroll in a flexible program and study
Continual professional development is an integral aspect of nursing as discoveries and technological advancements continue to give new dimensions to the nursing field. Many nurses understand the importance of advanced education and enroll in online programs. Several prestigious institutes offer bsn to masters in nursing online, and many nurses take advantage of the flexible studying schedule that online education provides. While you take a walk or sit in the break room, you can listen to online lectures and save time for some other commitments later.
- Stretch your muscles
Stretching muscles has innumerable benefits as it keeps them flexible, healthy, and strong. People often lose flexibility with time, and their bodies become rigid. Stretching improves posture, relieves tension, and, more importantly, decreases back pain.
Unlike other corporate jobs, nurses do not spend their whole day working while sitting in front of a computer. Thus, you might not feel motivated to stretch. Still, not stretching can lead to several health issues. Regular strenuous activities can put you at risk of joint pains, muscle damage, and strains. Stretching assists in keeping muscles lean, which means exertion does not burden them and results in pain.
Also, working while you stand does not count as stretching. So do not trick yourself!
- Catch up with a friend
If you’re not really finding time to catch up with your friends after work because of your schedule, your break time is probably a good time to do that! Catching up with a friend has therapeutic effects and makes you forget the daily stress you deal with at work. And we all know how stressful working in a healthcare facility can be.
Sometimes talking to a friend for five minutes is all you need to feel light. Or you can head out for lunch and connect with your squad from high school. A quick bite with bae would be nice!
- Prep your healthy meal
Aah, the satisfaction of making your food and then enjoying it as you munch it down!
As a healthcare professional, you probably understand the importance of a healthy diet and the disadvantages of consuming junk food more than others. This is why it is always a good idea to prep a healthy meal for your lunch break. If you don’t get enough time to make something before you head out to work, toss in some ingredients in a tote bag and bring them to work. A healthy meal generally does not require too many ingredients, and you can quickly fix it in less time.
You can use your break smartly and prepare a healthy snack for yourself and a few colleagues if you’re feeling generous. Preparing meals makes you excited about your food, and you enjoy it even more.
- Enjoy nature
Nature has an inherent healing quality, and by staring at the sky, plants or taking a walk in a park, you can lift your spirits and put yourself in a good mood. Most healthcare facilities have a small garden or a community park nearby. You can step out and sit in solitude to re-energize yourself.
- Go grocery shopping
Another pro tip to make the most of your time and achieve the perfect work-life balance!
Shopping can be fun and a good break off work for your mind, body, and soul. You don’t have to spend hours at the mall, but a quick sprint to a nearby grocery store to pick some essentials is good enough.
Getting out of work will help you relax those stiff muscles while using your break smartly to run important errands. Restock your work snack station or get some items for your home is a wise idea.
- Refill your water bottle
A simple one for the lazy ones!
We cannot emphasize the importance of staying hydrated. Most nurses start feeling lethargic by the end of their shift because their work routine is exhaustive, and they’re not replenishing body fluids. As weird as it may sound, many nurses do not get enough time to drink water as their tasks keep them running from one place to another.
Keeping a water bottle handy is a reminder that you need a water break. Ideally, it would help if you were drinking and refilling the bottle as you go about your routine work. But if you’re a bit of a procrastinator, at least get up during your lunch break and refill your bottle!
As a nurse, your job can be physically challenging and mentally and emotionally exhaustive. Utilizing your daily work breaks more efficiently can significantly improve your work productivity and enhance your well-being. So, rule number one: always avail your nurse break. Rule number two: treat it as your me-time. Rule number three: use it smartly and enjoy it!