3 Tips for Staying Healthy With A Nursing Schedule
Working in healthcare can be extremely demanding. Twelve hour shifts, rotating schedules,
sleepless nights with attempts to somewhat have a personal/family life can leave little to no time for a healthy lifestyle. At one point, I was working rotating overnight shifts in a Clinical
Decisions Unit while completing my online Master’s Program. Unhealthy foods were convenient due to closed cafeterias overnight and became a crutch to get me through a long night. Years later, I realized that something needed to change and decided to make a few adjustments to my lifestyle. These changes made a major impact on my energy level, skin, and overall health.
Here are my three quick tips for living a healthy lifestyle with the exhausting and demanding
schedule of a healthcare professional.
1. Drink More Water
Try bringing a water jug with you to work and drink it throughout your shift. Twelve
hours is a long time to go without water and oftentimes we don’t drink enough during our shifts.
Water helps to increase your energy levels and concentration, which is essential during your
Move more! The health care professional’s schedule leaves little time to go to the gym
regularly. However, there are many ways to increase your activity even at work. Try taking the
stairs as much as possible instead of the elevator when you need to go to the Blood Bank or
Pharmacy. You can even take a short 10-15 minute walk during your lunch break. Having a
fitness watch can also help you track how much activity you’re doing. Small changes in your
activity level will make all the difference and more sustainable despite scheduling challenges.
3. Bring Your Lunch
Try bringing your lunch with you to work. We often fall into the convenience trap of the
unhealthy foods in the vending machines or the cafeteria because we have no other options.
Bring healthy alternative snacks for the overnight munchies. High fiber snacks slow gastric
emptying and keep you fuller longer. Also, it’s harder to indulge in the work pizza or ice cream
party knowing that your fresh home cooked lunch is in the breakroom fridge.