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4 Easy Ways To Stay Healthy

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The American Nurses Association says 2017 is the “Year of the Healthy Nurse.” Here are four easy ways to stay healthy through mental fitness, quality sleep, developing hobbies and keeping things in perspective.

4 Easy Ways To Stay Healthy

The American Nurses Association says 2017 is the "Year of the Healthy Nurse." The association  defines a healthy nurse  as "one who actively focuses on creating and maintaining a balance and synergy of physical, intellectual, emotional, social, spiritual, personal, and professional wellbeing." As role models for their families, colleagues, patients, and communities, nurses are urged to live "life to the fullest capacity, across the wellness/illness continuum."

So, as we celebrate nurses during National Nurses Week, May 6-12, it's important to remember that the greatest gift you can give yourself while you care for others is to take the time to care for yourself.

#1 Be mentally fit.

Let's face it. This job is known for its high stress levels. "When stress persists, and you do not have a way to defuse stress, problems can occur physically, mentally and socially,"  Dorland Health  says. Find ways to alleviate that pressure like keeping a journal, talking with friends and family, or listening to music.

Many nurses have found a healthy connection with yoga, meditation, and other relaxation exercises. For example, at  Ameritech College of Healthcare  we bring in a massage therapist for staff every few weeks where they can receive a 15-minute neck and upper back massage. Faculty and staff can also participate in weekly yoga sessions, daily group walks, and both students and staff are encouraged to use complementary therapies such as essential oils to help with stress relief.

#2 Get some quality sleep.

Quality sleep? Hah! Not in this lifetime. But the need for restful sleep has a profound effect on your health and work performance. Experts suggest creating a nightly routine that prepares your body for relaxation and rest. Don't load up on snacks or caffeine, and make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, and cool.

If stressful thoughts keep you up at night, the American Nurses Association says to keep a notebook by your bed. If anxiety is keeping you awake, write those feelings down and let them go until morning.

Restful sleep has also been shown to boost memory. "Your mind is surprisingly busy while you snooze," according to  Health.com.  "During sleep you can strengthen memories or "practice" skills learned while you were awake (it's a process called consolidation)."

"If you are trying to learn something, whether it's physical or mental, you learn it to a certain point with practice," says  David Rapoport , MD, director of the NYU Sleep Disorders Program. "But something happens while you sleep that makes you learn it better."

#3 Schedule time for hobbies.

It's true, you can take the nurse out of the hospital, but you can't take the caregiving out of the nurse. Being a nurse is a huge part of our identity, but a great way to reinforce those caregiving skills is to focus on personal hobbies and activities.

 Karen Urban , assistant professor of nursing at Colorado Mesa University, tells her students to schedule time after work to do something they enjoy. It could be gardening, reading, meeting up with friends, taking a long bath, or planning a vacation.

#4 Keep things in perspective.

When bad things happen, it's tempting to allow those sad feelings to take over your entire day - but, don't. When the blues settle in, it's time to brighten things up. In a profession that requires constant caring for others, leadership expert  Dan Rockwell  says to let someone care for you for a change. "Hang with positive people or schedule time to do more of what you love."

As we honor our nurses let's remember that National Nurses Week is the perfect time to develop healthy habits that will sustain us long after the celebration is over.

This is a sponsored article brought to you by allnurses.com in conjunction with the advertiser. The views expressed in this article are those of the advertiser and do not necessarily reflect allnurses.com, its parent company, or its staff.

Julie Aiken, DNP, RN, CNE, AHN-BC, is the CEO of Ameritech College of Healthcare.

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Gadsale specializes in Marketing / Advertising / Digital Media.

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This is great info. Being healthy is more than just eating right and exercise. You need time for enjoyment and relaxation too!

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