Health and Wellness for Studying Nurses: A 2022 Guide

Earning a degree full time is a massive commitment on its own. If you are a full-time professional trying to fit in a degree around your already demanding hours, however, it can feel impossible, and particularly for nurses, it is the ultimate challenge. Not only do you have a highly demanding job, but you are taking on a very demanding degree.

Though a challenge, however, it is possible. There is one caveat, though, and that is that you need to be up to the task. If you are worn thin and feel like you are barely hanging on by a thread, then you will find yourself careering towards burnout before you know it.Put your health and wellness first, and use this guide to help you balance the difficult act of managing a nursing degree, with a nursing career.

Health and Wellness Guide for Studying Nurses

1. Ensure Your Program is Meant for Work and Study

Not every online degree can be completed while you work even part time. That is why, when looking for a degree, you need to ensure that the university expects its students to continue to work and has adequate services in order to make it easier for you. This nurse practitioner program in Texas, for example, offers clinical placement services and extended periods for graduation in order to accommodate working nurses. If you have specific requirements always get in touch with the admissions counselor in advance to see if accommodations can be made for your situation.

2. Adjust Your Work Responsibilities

Just as you need to ensure that your degree is prepared to work around your career, you also need to adjust your work responsibilities to help you succeed as much as possible. If you work long and unpredictable shifts at the moment, for example, it may be worthwhile to find a different position that offers a bit more consistency so that you can build a routine you can stick with. Similarly, if you work nights you may want to consider shifting to a different schedule so that you can benefit from a deeper night’s sleep.

3. Get Your Friends and Family On Board

A degree and a career are two full-time occupations. In order to relieve some of the stress of balancing both of these (on top of family life and your personal responsibilities) you will want to work out what kind of help you can expect from your friends and family; from babysitting to even spending time at a café studying. Your friends and family can help relieve some of your responsibilities, or can just give you the essential moral support you need to get this done. You do not need to do it all alone.

4. Budget For What Support Services You Can Afford

There are so many services today that you can use to minimize your home responsibilities, and therefore return time to your day that you can instead use to study or simply relax. You can get a meal plan delivered, you can use laundry services, and so on. The only limit is your budget, so work out what you can afford and have a short list ready to go. You don’t need to use them all the time, but when life starts to feel overwhelming, having a support service ready to go can take off the pressure.

5. Build a Healthy Routine

There are three pillars to physical health:

  • Restful, consistent sleep
  • Healthy eating and hydration
  • Exercise

Routine and better habits can do wonders towards helping you physically feel better, and there are many ways to make these three pillars easier to accomplish.

To sleep better, upgrading your bed (if necessary) and sleeping on a strict schedule can do wonders for the quality of rest you experience.

When it comes to eating consider either a healthy meal plan or prepping healthy meals yourself.

Exercise should be done in the mornings, and it should be fun. Think of it as a way to get your blood and oxygen flowing so that you can think more clearly and handle more throughout your day with less strain.

Read: How to Look Good in Scrubs

6. Care for Your Mental Health and Wellbeing

While routine can help reduce stress and keep you on a consistent schedule, you will also want to consider your wellbeing. Making time for friends and family (and time for your hobbies as well as some down time before you go to bed) can all work wonders. One of the biggest wellness tips to keep in mind, however, is to take breaks. Breaks can help you stay motivated, can help you learn and absorb the information you take in more effectively, and above all, can reduce the strain and stress you put your body through.

If these tips alone do not help, then seeking out a support group, a counselor, or even a therapist may be in order. You are not alone, and a problem shared is a problem halved.

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