Staying Healthy & Happy While Juggling Full-Time Nursing and Study
Juggling full-time work as a nurse, studying for an advanced nursing degree, and everything else that you need to do in your daily life, isn’t always easy. If you’re not careful, all the work that you’re taking on can quickly begin to take a toll on your physical and mental health. Having a good routine, being sure to put yourself first, and making your health a top priority is key when you are in this situation. if you are a nurse who has decided to improve their career with an advanced degree, here are some tips on helping make it less stressful and easier to manage for you.
Online study is much easier to fit around your work and other commitments, so it’s an ideal choice for busy nurses who want to improve their qualifications. In contrast to studying on-campus, online nursing leadership courses allow you to take more control over your studies, making it easier for you to decide when is best for you to study based on your commitments, rather than being tied to a set class timetable. And, since you don’t have to worry about the possibility of relocating to study at the college you want to attend or commuting to campus regularly, studying online can often work out cheaper, which in turn means less financial stress.
Sticking to a healthy diet isn’t always the easiest when you’re busy. It can be all too easy to get caught in a trap of just ordering take-out to save money or stocking up on convenience foods, but the price that you pay for this can be hefty if you’re not getting all the nutrients that you need – especially when you have so much to do and keep up with. You might find it useful to master a few quick yet healthy recipes and make sure that you have a stock of healthy snacks to eat throughout the day like fruits, nuts, and veggies to curb the temptation of reaching for a candy bar from the nearest vending machine.
The good thing about working as a nurse is that the job can often be a workout in itself. When you’re on your feet all day, you’re definitely not suffering from a lack of exercise. However, it can still be a good idea to stay active in other ways too and find some physical activities that aren’t associated with work that you enjoy. Whether you decide to go swimming, hiking, or take yoga classes, find an activity that you really like doing, and it will be easier to stick to it.
Stress can easily get the better of you when you feel like you are juggling a hundred things at once. If you are feeling stressed out more and more often recently due to the number of things that you are responsible for while working and studying at the same time, you might benefit from practicing a few relaxation techniques. Deep breathing and mindfulness can be especially useful for helping you to get back in the moment and prevent stressful thoughts from taking over your mind when the going gets tough.
Get Enough Sleep
As tempting as it might be to stay up late to get more done, after some time, a lack of sleep is going to catch up with you. The last thing that you want is to end up burned out and exhausted, and as a nurse, you will know just how important sleep is and the vital part that it plays in ensuring that both your body and mind are able to perform at their best. Have a relaxing and consistent bedtime routine that you can stick to – perhaps take a relaxing bath an hour before bed, read a book for a while and try to use this time to switch off from your work and studies so that you can return to them feeling refreshed in the morning.
Working flat-out might feel effective at first, but after some time, all it’s going to do is lead to burn-out, and if you’re not careful, you’ll end up feeling like you simply can’t face doing another thing. If you’ve always got either work or studies to do and can’t remember the last time you had a full day to yourself to simply do things that you enjoy and relax, be sure to schedule in at least one day off a week for yourself. Whether you spend the day socializing with friends, participating in hobbies, or simply relaxing and catching up with a TV show is up to you, but make sure that you take some time to switch off from work every once in a while.
Finally, as a nurse, it’s your job to be there for other people, but don’t forget the importance of letting others be there for you when you need support too. We all need a little help and support from time to time, whether it’s practical support or somebody to talk to, so don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. You will be surprised at how willing the people in your life will be to offer a supportive hand to you when you need one – and let’s face it – you would do the same for them! Having a strong support network around you can make studying for an advanced degree while working as a nurse a lot easier.
Don’t Rush Yourself
Sometimes, it’s important to be able to know when to take things at a slower pace if they are getting too much for you. Don’t feel like you have to get everything done all at once; there is no shame in slowing down if you are getting overwhelmed and struggling to handle everything.
Studying for an advanced degree while working as a full-time nurse can take a huge toll on your health due to the sheer amount of work. Keep these tips in mind and remember to put yourself and your health and happiness first.