Monday, June 03, 2024

7 Essential Health and Wellness Tips for Busy Nurses

Photo by Viki Mohamad on Unsplash

Being a nurse is a deeply rewarding profession, but it is also often incredibly demanding. Whether you’re new to the industry or a veteran nurse, here are seven practical tips to help you efficiently improve your overall health.

Practice Proper Hygiene

Good personal hygiene is essential for nurses. Since you are on the frontline of patient care, you are continuously exposed to various infectious agents. It is vital you practice good personal hygiene to prevent germs from spreading. Make it a habit to wash your hands religiously throughout the day, and bring a handy alcohol-based sanitizer to help disinfect your hands, especially when you’re unable to wash them. 

Manage Your Time Well

Time is a luxury that busy nurses often lack. However, poor time management can be detrimental to your emotional and mental health, as you are more likely to experience anxiety, sleep concerns, depression, and other mental health-related problems. You must practice effective time management strategies to increase your productivity, both inside and outside of work.

If you plan to pursue higher education, there are various online PhD programs for nurses you can look into. Online education offers more flexibility in learning, enabling you to attain your professional goals while working full-time. 

Eat Right

Nurses are constantly on their feet, attending to tasks, and often forget to eat on time. Instead of binge eating during breaks, prepare your meals in advance. Plan your meals for the week at home and ensure they’re ready the night before. Increase your consumption of proteins, vegetables, fresh fruits, and whole grains. Eat a heavy breakfast and bring light, healthy snacks to prevent you from reaching for the nearest processed food.

Improve Your Immune System

With all the hazardous elements you encounter at work, boosting your immune system is more important than ever. The stronger your immune system is, the lesser the chances that you’ll get sick. Some food options that can help include blueberries, turmeric, dark chocolate, broccoli, oily fish, spinach, sweet potatoes, garlic, ginger, kefir, green tea, almonds, sunflower seeds, red bell pepper, and oranges.

Schedule Regular Checkups

No matter how healthy you are, regular checkups are essential. These routine appointments can help your physician detect and address potential diseases before they escalate. Treat them as non-negotiables, and do your best to build a strong and healthy relationship with your doctor.

Get Sufficient Sleep

While sleep may be elusive for most nurses, getting enough quality sleep is vital for your health. Sleep deprivation, especially if left unaddressed, can lead to cognitive impairment, mood swings, daytime sleepiness, weight gain, reduced immune function, and long-term health complications. Take advantage of every sleep or rest opportunity available and cultivate healthy sleep habits.

Strive for Work-Life Balance

According to the results of the fourth mental health and wellness survey, which is part of the Pulse on the Nation’s Nurses Survey Series and was conducted in May 2023 by the American Nurses Foundation, 56% of the surveyed nurses reported experiencing burnout symptoms such as emotional exhaustion.

It is vital that you carve quality time for yourself, no matter how hectic your professional and personal schedules are. Take advantage of your work leaves and dedicate this time to recharge and unwind. If taking paid time off is not an option, be mindful of where you focus your energy.

For instance, you may have been saying yes repeatedly to your peers or supervisors for fear of falling behind professionally, ultimately compromising your mental and physical health. Establish clear workplace boundaries and practice self-care every chance you get.  


As a nurse, caring for your health should never be an afterthought. By taking better care of yourself, you will be better equipped to provide exceptional patient care without compromising your well-being.

Amy Wilson is a passionate health writer dedicated to making complex medical topics accessible and engaging and covers a wide range of topics from nutrition and fitness to mental health and wellness.

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