Working in a busy emergency department, I see chronic exacerbations of preventable health conditions. Asthma, diabetes, hypertension-- one thing all of these have in common is their negative correlation to obesity and increase BMI (body mass index). I know this, I took prerequisite nutrition classes, took epidemiology, and yet sneak bites of chocolates and chips at the nurses's station. I know from physiology class that physical activity decreases insulin sensitivity and reduces cardiovascular risk, yet it's so easy to skip my workout and stay in bed all day watching movies on my day off. If only, I could get overcome inertia... Enter the old fashioned nursing care plan to treat my noncompliance of healthy lifestyle choices.
Noncompliance of healthy lifestyle choices related to stress level, desire for quick, tasty food, and exhaustion from grueling shifts.
Nurses will choose to take time to exercise, reduce stress, rest, and eat well-balanced meals.
[Practical] Nursing Interventions
Learn to say, "No," more often to help you manage workload and stress. Specifically, this is saying, "No," to over-time and swapping shift times more than is required by your job description. In the long run, Uncle Sam frequently takes more of your over-time than you do.
Find some time to exercise. Pick a favorite television show- the more light-hearted, the better for this. Example: reality shows, show-downs, and sitcoms... MOVE, MOVE, MOVE while you are watching. Do jumping jacks, hops, run in place, or even dance to music if something comes on. Incorporate sets of lunges, squats, push ups, leg lifts, crunches during the commercial breaks so you can be upright and attentive who is voted off during the show.
Make food shopping fun and fresh- go to the farmer's market. Too expensive? Open up your local grocery weekly advertisement and only buy what's on sale for produce. Chances are, it's usually what's in season now, which is generally the most fresh to eat.
If you don't have time to fully cook all meals, "put together" meals from the semi-prepared section at the market. It's generally still cheaper than eating out.
Aim to eat two servings of vegetables at lunch and dinner each. This can be done by adding a salad, vegetable based soup, or a side of raw vegetables for a snack in between meals. Have fruit as snacks and also as dessert.
If you have craving for "junk food", it's okay. Have a couple cookies for that day, and share the calories with the nurses' station across the floor or even another floor when you drop off a patient.
Take time to sleep- even if it means letting little things go undone. It makes you safer nurse and a sane human being.
I am getting 7-9 hours of sleep per night 5 out 7 days of the week.
I am eating a minimum of 3-4 servings of vegetables and 2-4 fruits daily.
I am moving for a minimum 30 minutes per day (excluding transporting at work).
I feel that I am actually excited to wear jeans and not hide behind scrub pants because they actually fit right.