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Self-Care For Nurses – 25 Proven Strategies to Take Better Care of Yourself


Written By: Darby Faubion BSN, RN

Are you a nurse who feels like there is not enough time in the day? Do you feel fatigued or overwhelmed? Perhaps you can’t remember the last time you ate a good meal or slept eight hours in one night. If this sounds like you, self-care strategies for nurses are something you should consider implementing in your life. Are you asking yourself, “How can nurses practice self-care?" If so, this article is undoubtedly for you. As you continue reading, you will learn about 25 proven self-care strategies for nurses to take better care of themselves, find reasons why self-care is so crucial for nurses, and discover the consequences of the lack of self-care for nurses.


What Exactly Is Self-Care In Nursing?


The World Health Organization (WHO) defines self-care as the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider. Self-care for nurses falls under the same definition and is demonstrated when nurses implement intentional efforts to achieve, promote, and maintain physical, mental, and emotional health.


7 Reasons Why Self-Care Is So Important For Nurses


The American Nurses Association's Code of Ethics mandates self-care for nurses. The provision of the ANA's code states the moral respect nurses extend to all people "extends to oneself as well: the same duties that we owe to others we owe to ourselves." The responsibilities outlined in the Code of Ethics include promoting health and safety, maintaining competence, preserving wholeness of character and integrity, and continuing personal and professional growth. The following are seven reasons why self-care is important for nurses.

1. Self-care for nurses is a stress management tool.
2. When nurses practice self-care, their ability to demonstrate compassion and empathy is replenished.
3. Self-care for nurses promotes safety in the workplace.
4. Nurses who practice self-care typically provide higher-quality care to patients.
5. Nurses who practice self-care have a decreased occurrence of depression.
6. Self-care strategies for nurses promote better sleep, which improves energy, making it easier to perform on the job.
7. Self-care practices for nurses are associated with healthier lifestyles, which means decreased risk of health-related problems.



What Are The 8 Key Areas Of Self-Care For Nurses?


There are eight key areas of self-care for nurses (and anyone else who wants to practice self-love and self-care). Self-care concepts fall into one of the following categories: physical, psychological, emotional, social, professional, environmental, spiritual, and financial.

1. Physical Self-Care:

Physical self-care includes how you take care of your body. The amount of sleep you get, the type of physical activities you engage in, and how your physical needs are met are a few examples of things to consider when implementing physical self-care strategies for nurses.

2. Psychological Self-Care:

Psychological self-care involves thinking, learning, and growing. This type of self-care involves activities focused on personal and professional development.

3. Emotional Self-Care:

Emotional self-care means being aware of your thoughts and feelings and allowing yourself to experience your feelings in a way that honors yourself and your emotional well-being.

4. Social Self-Care:

Building strong relationships is the key to social self-care. This type of self-care for nurses includes being mindful of how nurses manage relationships while balancing personal and professional lives and preventing burnout.

5. Professional Self-Care:

Professional self-care involves finding a healthy work-life balance. Because so much of a nurse’s job is a huge aspect of our daily lives, implementing this type of self-care takes practice.

6. Environmental Self-Care:

Environment is the surroundings or conditions in which a person lives or operates. A person's environment can influence motivation and behavior. Environmental self-care is about creating an atmosphere that fosters peace, tranquility, creativity, and productivity.

7. Spiritual Self-Care:

Spiritual self-care does not necessarily have to involve religion. Spiritual self-care includes anything you do that helps develop a deeper sense of meaning, connection, or understanding with God or the universe.

8. Financial Self-Care:

Financial self-care is the practice of developing habits that reflect what you want to accomplish with your money. To practice financial self-care, it is necessary to acknowledge any bad money habits you have and conquer them.



HOW CAN NURSES PRACTICE SELF-CARE TO TAKE BETTER CARE OF THEMSELVES?


If you have never practiced self-care as a nurse, you may feel unsure about how to get started. The following 25 self-care strategies for nurses are ways to begin implementing self-care practices and take better care of yourself.

Physical Self-Care Strategies For Nurses

Physical self-care involves caring for your body’s physical needs. The amount of sleep you get, your daily activities, and the food you consume have an impact on your physical well-being. As nurses, we spend a lot of time performing physical work, including moving patients and equipment and standing on our feet throughout the day. Therefore, physical self-care practices are especially important. Here are a few ways to practice physical self-care for nurses.

1. Exercise regularly:

Exercise positively impacts physical and emotional health and is an excellent way to practice self-care for nurses. A routine of regular exercise helps reduce weight, promotes healthy blood pressure, and decreases the risk of heart disease and diabetes. It also stimulates the release of endorphins, also known as the body's "happy hormones," which trigger an elevated mood and reduced anxiety. Most doctors recommend thirty minutes of exercise daily. However, small amounts of exercise add up to great benefits. So, get in as much as possible, even if it is not thirty minutes each.

2. Eat a well-balanced diet:

Food is meant to be fuel for the body and eating healthy is considered an ultimate form of physical self-care. A well-balanced diet can create a sense of balance between your physical health and other aspects of well-being. Healthy diets that include a generous supply of fruits, vegetables, proteins, and healthy fats help stabilize blood sugar, promote better mental focus and emotional stability.

3. Get plenty of rest:

Not only do we live in a fast-paced world, but nurses must also often work at a fast pace. We often use so much emotional and physical energy to fulfill the variety of tasks that need to be accomplished in our personal and professional lives. It is crucial to understand how important it is to give your body a chance to rest. Rest is an essential part of physical self-care. When you allow your body to recover, your immune system works more efficiently, and you reduce the likelihood of developing burnout.


Psychological Self-Care Strategies For Nurses

When you practice psychological self-care, the idea is to pay special attention to the people and things that are within your personal sphere of influence and that you can control. Depending on where you work and the nature of your job, the amount of control you have over your surroundings may vary. However, it is still possible to practice psychological self-care. This type of self-care is beneficial for nurses as it gives you the opportunity to reflect on important matters and gather your thoughts, which will help ease your mind and promote focus. To be effective, psychological self-care for nurses should include time for personal reflection.

1. Practice meditation:

Meditation is sometimes hard to define. In general, meditation consists of focusing your attention to help calm your mind and regain focus. Meditation is a great way to practice psychological self-care as it helps manage anxiety and builds mental resilience.

2. Try keeping a journal:

Journaling is a significantly beneficial self-care technique. Journaling will help you clarify your feelings and thoughts, enhance feelings of happiness and well-being, and reduce stress. You don't have to write a novel. Instead, carve out ten or fifteen minutes to write in your journal at the end of each day. Focus on your thoughts and feelings and write them down.

3. Do a digital detox:

We live in a world filled with technology at our fingertips. Although there are many benefits to the digital world, overuse can have toxic psychological effects. Like other types of self-care, effective psychological self-care requires finding a healthy balance. It means recognizing when it is time to take a break. Try limiting the amount of time you spend on social media, watching television, or playing video games.


Emotional Self-Care Strategies For Nurses

Emotional self-care is a vital part of nursing self-care strategies. This key element of self-care can significantly impact every part of your life. Although nursing is a rewarding career, it can be emotionally taxing. Helping patients and their loved ones deal with a difficult diagnosis or face death can affect even the strongest among us. It is crucial for nurses to understand the importance of psychological self-care as it promotes identifying feelings and developing ways to manage them instead of ignoring, denying, or suppressing them, which could lead to negative consequences.

1. Learn to practice mindfulness:

Mindfulness is the practice of being "fully present" in the moment. Practicing mindfulness means taking ownership of your thoughts, without judgment and letting them go. Implementing mindfulness into your self-care practices for nurses helps shift your mindset and will amplify the benefits of your total self-care routine.

2. Use affirmations:

Affirmations are positive statements to help you challenge and overcome negative thoughts and self-sabotaging behavior. While not everyone is convinced that affirmations are effective, I have learned to compare affirmations for the mind to physical exercise for the body. The more you practice them, the greater the effect they have. The mental repetition of affirmations has a way of reprogramming the way we think and act and can have a significant effect on emotional well-being.

3. Practice gratitude:

Expressing gratitude helps establish meaningful connections with others and promotes humility and selflessness. A few ways to practice gratitude include making a weekly list of things you are grateful for, saying thank you to someone you care about, and demonstrating a return of the love shown to you by others.

4. Know when to seek help:

As nurses, we often want to fix things for everyone else but fail to recognize when we are the ones who need help. Emotional self-care will require you to be honest with yourself about your thoughts and feelings and to know when your emotions are too much to handle alone. Whether you talk to a friend, manager, or a mental health professional, the important thing is to reach out when you need someone.


Social Self-Care Strategies For Nurses

Another important aspect of self-care for nurses is social self-care. Social self-care is about finding balance within relationships. Nurses develop relationships with patients and patient families. While these relationships are important, nurses should not limit their social interaction to those in our care. Developing strong relationships with others gives us a sense of being grounded, promotes self-esteem, and helps reduce anxiety. Here are a few ways to practice social self-care.

1. Nurture relationships with friends and family:

Building and maintaining healthy relationships with others is an excellent way to practice self-care. When you have strong, healthy relationships, you have others to talk to, lean on, and confide in.

2. Set boundaries for relationships:

The key to social self-care is to find balance. While prioritizing relationships is important, it is equally important not to spread yourself too thin. You can choose for yourself what the balance between personal self-care and social interactions should be.

3. Focus on spending quality time with others:

There is a difference between social self-care and surface-level interactions with others. The relationships you establish are meant to be part of your self-care strategies, which means they should make you feel good. When you focus on spending quality time, not just quantity time, you learn to enjoy the act of socialization. This part of social self-care should include having meaningful activities and conversations that benefit you and the people who are important to you.


Professional Self-Care Strategies For Nurses

Nurses sometimes find it difficult to draw a line to separate personal responsibilities from professional ones. As much as you want to take care of others, professional self-care also means establishing boundaries between personal and professional lives and keeping them there.

1. Establish the difference between personal time and work time:

Because of the differences in work schedules and responsibilities, it is easier for some nurses to have a clear line that differentiates work and personal time. Even if your job is demanding or you work rotating shifts, you can practice professional self-care by carving out personal time. When you create a balance between professional and personal time, you are more likely to work efficiently and with less stress.

2. Get organized:

An excellent way to practice professional self-care is to declutter and get organized. Organization in your workspace helps you feel less overwhelmed and creates an atmosphere conducive to productivity. A few ways to accomplish this include keeping a to-do list in a notebook or planner and keeping a calendar of your schedule and activities. There are several digital apps that you can download to your smartphone or tablet, such as Artful Agenda, Google Calendar, Fantastical, and ClickUp.

3. Be honest with yourself about your workload:

Most nurses have an attitude of selflessness and giving. These are wonderful characteristics, but they can lead to taking on too much. Before committing to working an extra shift or taking on a new task or project, consider your needs and whether doing so will create an imbalance between your personal and professional time. Be realistic about what you can accomplish and how your workload will affect the other areas of self-care.


Environmental Self-Care Strategies For Nurses

It is common for nurses to be surrounded by equipment, patient charts, and medical supplies. Monitors and patient call lights sound alarms throughout the day. The constant noise and feeling of a busy environment can feel overwhelming. Practicing environmental self-care for nurses will help create balance at work and at home.

1. Declutter your work and home:

Unless you have your own office at work, you may find it is easier to declutter your home than your workspace. However, you can do things in both places to help promote an atmosphere conducive to productivity. At home, make sure you tidy rooms and put things where they belong to prevent excessive clutter. On the job, place items that aren't in use in their designated places. Consider using baskets, bins, or other items to keep things organized and easily accessible in both places.

2. Create a designated workspace:

Creating a space designated for work will help you focus on the task at hand instead of being distracted by other things in your surrounding environment. If you do not have an extra room, don't worry. You can designate an area in your dining room or bedroom as your "workspace." Make it clear to others that this space is yours to avoid interruptions when you work.

3. Make your personal space comfortable and inviting:

Environmental self-care should promote a feeling of being relaxed and comfortable. Your personal space and workspace should foster feelings of happiness and peace, which helps reduce anxiety and stress.


Spiritual Self-Care Strategies For Nurses

The ideas behind the concept of spiritual self-care vary from one person to another, but most agree it is about connecting to something larger than themselves. For some people, practicing spiritual self-care means developing a closer connection or relationship with God. Others feel a deep connection to nature, and life-giving resources are ways to practice spiritual self-care. When nurses practice spiritual self-care, they often feel a more defined sense of balance, hope, and connection with others. Practicing spiritual self-care does not have to take up a lot of time, but you may find the more you implement this type of self-care, the more you want to participate in it. Here are a few spiritual self-care strategies for nurses.

1. Pray:

As rewarding as nursing can be, there may still be times when you feel alone (whether you are or not). Using prayer or affirmations can be your way of speaking to God, a higher power, or whatever you consider your higher connection. If you are uncomfortable speaking prayers or affirmations, write them down somewhere private and reflect upon them as needed.

2. Connect with nature:

An excellent way to practice spiritual self-care is to connect with nature. You can go for a walk, watch a sunset, or bury your feet in the sand at the beach. There is no right or wrong way to practice spiritual self-care. Whatever makes you feel more connected and balanced is a good choice.

3. Talk with a spiritual advisor:

A spiritual advisor can be any person you believe capable of helping you connect with something larger than yourself. There are many types of spiritual advisors, including pastors, priests, tarot card readers, and psychics. The important thing to remember about choosing a spiritual advisor is you should choose someone who aligns with your values and belief systems.


Financial Self-Care Strategies For Nurses

Financial self-care is about lowering financial stress by changing bad spending habits and taking control of your money. Practicing financial self-care is as important for nurses as the other types of self-care. When financial self-care becomes a part of daily life, nurses typically experience reduced anxiety and stress, find it easier to plan for the future and, as a result, enjoy life more.

1. Keep track of the money in your accounts:

A great way to practice financial self-care is to monitor any financial accounts you have, such as checking, savings, or retirement accounts. Each time you make a purchase, withdraw or add money, make it a habit to immediately enter your transaction into a register and reconcile your statements.

2. Create an emergency savings fund:

A vital, often overlooked, part of financial self-care is an emergency savings plan. The amount of money you need in your emergency fund will vary depending on your monthly expenses, lifestyle, number of dependents, and income. According to Wells Fargo financial advisors, the rule of thumb is to save enough money to cover three to six months of expenses.

3. Develop a S.M.A.R.T. plan:

When you set clear financial goals, it can motivate you to stick with good money habits. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau advocates for financial goals using the acronym S.M.A.R.T. which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timebound.



8 Common Barriers To Self-Care For Nurses And How To Deal With Them


Although self-care is important, there are some common barriers that may prevent nurses from implementing effective measures. The following are eight common barriers to self-care for nurses and suggestions for dealing with and overcoming them.

1. Guilt

There is a difference between self-indulgence, self-pampering, and self-care. Because many nurses do not understand the difference, they often feel guilty for attempting self-care measures.

How to Deal with it:

One of the first self-care strategies for nurses requires developing an understanding of the differences between self-care and other self-directed activities. Self-pampering and self-indulgence are things we do for ourselves because they feel good, such as getting a manicure or pedicure or going on vacation. It is okay to do these things in moderation. On the other hand, self-care is the act of prioritizing things that promote balance in your body, soul, and mind. When you accept the understanding that self-care is not selfish but necessary for a healthy life balance, you can overcome the guilt you may feel about it.


2. Having Unrealistic Expectations

It is easy to get discouraged when we set unrealistic goals or expectations. To be clear, I am not suggesting that we do not set higher goals and work to better ourselves. However, don't be so gung-ho that your expectations are entirely out of reach.

How to Deal with it:

Start off by setting achievable goals and expectations for yourself. For example, you may decide to spend thirty minutes two or three times each week devoted to self-care practices for nurses. With time, and as you feel more comfortable with self-care, you can add more time or activities to your regimen. You can celebrate small victories without feeling overwhelmed or let down by starting slowly.


3. Not Adjusting Well to Change

If we are honest, everyone can think of at least one thing we would like to change about ourselves or our lives. While the idea of change for the better is appealing, wanting a change does not equate to change happening.

How to Deal with it:

The first step in dealing with this barrier to self-care practices for nurses is to acknowledge a change is necessary. Once you identify changes that need to be made, you can begin to slowly incorporate them into your daily routine. Slowly introducing changes will make you less likely to become overwhelmed and give up as you adjust to your new routine.


4. The Misconception that Implementing Self-Care is a Sign of Weakness

Self-care is not a vanity measure or a sign of weakness. Also, it should not be reserved for sick or aged people.

How to Deal with it:

As nurses, we encourage our patients to follow care plans and be compliant with treatment regimens. We do this because we understand how beneficial it is for patients to be involved in their personal care. Can you imagine telling your patient that taking their prescribed medication or following a physician-recommended diet is a sign of weakness? Of course, you would not. We must learn to apply the principles of self-care to our lives with as much enthusiasm as we encourage patients to care for themselves.


5. Not Feeling Motivated to Care for Oneself

For some nurses, self-care can feel overwhelming, making them lack motivation.

How to Deal with it:

Self-care for nurses does not have to feel like a huge, unachievable project. The best way to overcome a lack of motivation is to break self-care into small, easily attainable goals. Start by doing things you enjoy, then slowly add other self-care strategies.


6. Not Enough Time in the Day

It is normal as a nurse to have days when you feel like there isn’t enough time to do the things you want or need to do. Unfortunately, when overlooking self-care becomes a habit, it can result in negative consequences that could cause you to miss even more valuable time.

How to Deal with it:

Self-care strategies for nurses don't have to be complicated or take up a great deal of time. The key to self-care is consistency. Schedule time dedicated to only you. Meditate, exercise, read a book or journal. Any time you spend focused on creating a healthy balance in your life will pay off in more ways than you may imagine.


7. Being Unaware of Your Own Needs

Nurses are so busy taking care of others that we often overlook our own needs. Preoccupation with a patient or loved one's illness can interfere with our ability to recognize the needs in our own lives.

How to Deal with it:

Not taking care of your own needs will not make them any less important. It is vital to make time to meet your needs. Be sure to take breaks, stop for lunch, and drink plenty of fluids.


8. Not Understanding the Value of Self-Care

One common barrier to self-care for nurses is we often underestimate the value of self-care.

How to Deal with it:

When you don't understand the importance of self-care, you are more likely to avoid implementing self-care strategies. So, the first step is to find out why self-care is essential. Research suggests self-care activities promote positive health outcomes, including better stress management, better physical and emotional resilience, and living longer.


Self-Care Advice From A Nurse To A Nurse During The COVID-19 Pandemic


The nursing industry has evolved over time. Today, nurses perform a broad range of duties, including assisting doctors with assessments, formulating health care plans, leading response teams, promoting safe and effective patient care, patient education, and research. The increased workload is enough to support the need for self-care practices for nurses. When we add the effects of the COVID-10 pandemic and the physical and mental exhaustion that comes with it, nursing self-care strategies are more important now than ever.

There are a few things nurses should keep in mind and do to implement self-care strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

• Learn to say “No:”

Nurses are on the frontline of this global pandemic, and productivity is a must if we want to give patients the care they need. Self-care in these challenging times means guarding your productivity by knowing what you can and cannot handle and setting boundaries to stay within those confines. While you may feel like working an extra shift or taking on some additional hours, you do not have to be the one who always does it. Learn to say no if you feel tired or overwhelmed. When you care for yourself first, you can provide better care to your patients.

• Take care of your mental health:

As rewarding as a nursing career can be, it is often also stressful. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the stress of the job much more significant. As nurses, it is crucial to tend to your own mental well-being. The feelings you have are valid, and you should allow yourself to feel them. Acknowledge your thoughts and emotions and try to find ways to deal with negative feelings when they occur. If you begin to feel overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to admit that. Talking with a friend, a spiritual advisor, or mental health counselor can help you sort out your feelings and may help you gain some perspective on how to deal moving forward.

• Carve out time for yourself:

Being a frontline worker and having personal time almost seem impossible to accomplish simultaneously. However, it is now more important than ever to implement and maintain self-care practices for nurses, including taking time for yourself and your well-being. Time for self-care is not selfish. Instead, it is an essential part of the health and well-being of nurses who wish to be effective healthcare providers and team members.


What Are Some Risks Associated With Lack Of Self-Care For Nurses?


Learning and implementing self-care strategies for nurses is essential to have a balance between work and life and have a healthy mind, body, and spirit. Just as there are several benefits to self-care, there are also risks associated with a lack of self-care for nurses. The following are a few consequences of not practicing self-care.

• Brain Fog:

Lack of physical self-care is often accompanied by poor diet, including consuming high sugar foods and drinks and foods processed with high chemical levels. An unhealthy diet can lead to brain fog or mental fog, which is a combination of symptoms including difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, and confusion.

• Weight Gain and Weight-Related Health Conditions:

When nurses do not practice self-care, their diets are not the only thing that suffers. Lack of self-care is often associated with poor exercise regimens and an increased risk of sedentary lifestyle habits. The result is often weight gain which can lead to several other health issues like increased risk of developing diabetes, hypertension, or heart disease.

• Strained Relationships:

Poor self-care or a total lack of self-care can lead to low self-esteem, negative outlook, and disengaged behavior. Each of these can cause significant strain on personal and professional relationships.


15 Useful Resources To Help Nurses Care For Themselves


There are numerous resources that offer insight into self-care strategies for nurses. The following are examples of apps, Facebook groups/pages, YouTube videos, podcasts, and books focused on self-care practices.

Apps

Headspace

is an app used to teach meditation and mindfulness skills. The app's focus is to help people achieve better sleep, increased focus, and decreased stress.

Aura

was created by therapists and meditation teachers. The app gives users meditation exercises to implement each day. Over 3,300 users have given the app an average of 4.9 out of 5 stars, making it one of the best self-care apps available.

Unplug

offers expert-led guided journeys for improving work productivity, daily meditation, and learning to let go of unwanted feelings and emotions. You can experience what the app offers by trying the 7-day Rise, Click, Meditate challenge.

Facebook Groups/Pages

Self-Care and Self-Confidence:

This small, public Facebook group offers a place to find tips for boosting self-confidence and self-care tips.

Self-Care Ideas for Everyone:

In this Facebook group, members find ideas for self-care they can tailor to their specific needs and goals. Group moderators encourage members to search for approaches until they find what works best for them.

Nurses for Self-Care:

This private Facebook group offers nurses support and encouragement to create and implement self-care routines to help them find balance in life.

YouTube Videos

A Healthy Nurse: Better Self-Care, Better Patient Care:

The American Nurses Association’s Healthy Nurse Program encourages nurses to practice self-care so they can provide high-quality patient care. The ANA believes in doing so, nurses become role models for wellness.

5 Tips for Nurses to Maintain Their Self-Care:

From this video, learn five ways to achieve and maintain self-care practices for nurses. The thought behind this video is that being a great nurse must involve caring for others and making yourself a priority.

How Nurses Can Prioritize Self-Care During a Pandemic:

Loralee Sessanna, DNS, R.N., AHN-BC, Faith Community Nurse, shares ways nurses can prioritize self-care during a pandemic.

Podcasts

Selfie:

Writer and psychotherapist, Kristen Howerton, joins friend and self-professed workaholic, Roo Powell to tackle aspects of self-care. Their approach to self-care takes vulnerable and often humorous approaches to mind, body, and spiritual self-care.

Sugar Pills Podcast: A Practical Guide to Self-Care:

The Sugar Pills Podcast empowers listeners with tools to take self-care to the next level, boost confidence and self-worth, and start achieving a life of success.

Iced Coffee and Self-Care:

Latorsha, Mom, Wife, Registered Nurse, Certified Health Coach, and Speaker, helps listeners learn to prioritize self-care in realistic ways.

Books

Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less:

The author of Essentialism offers strategies for systemic discipline to discern what is essential for living a balanced life and eliminating what is not.

The Little Book of Self-Care- 200 Ways to Refresh, Restore, and Rejuvenate:

This book features activities focused on helping you reconnect with mind, body, spirit, and environment to leave you feeling balanced, refreshed, and equipped to face the challenges of everyday life.

The Self-Care Project:

In this book, you will find everything you to know about what self-care is, why it is important, and how to integrate self-care concepts into your daily life.


My Final Thoughts


In this article, we have addressed a question that is often asked, “How can nurses practice self-care?” There are several things nurses can do to implement self-care into their daily routines, and each is as unique as the nurse exercising them. The 25 proven self-care strategies for nurses to take better care of themselves featured in this article are excellent examples of how to implement self-care practices. Remember, you don’t have to accomplish several goals each day. Start small and build your way up.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR EXPERT


1. Is Self-Care an Ethical Obligation for a Nurse?

According to the American Nurses Association Code of Ethics for Nurses, nurses must adopt self-care as a duty to self in addition to their duty to provide care to patients.

2. As A Busy Nurse, How Do I Know When to Begin Self-Care?

Nurses are busy. We are busy at work, at home, and if you're anything like me, you may be busy in your dreams! So, if you're waiting for the best time to begin self-care, you may never think you've found the right time. The best time to begin self-care is now. You can start with small steps and gradually add new self-care strategies for nurses.

3. Can Self-Care Feel Selfish for a Nurse?

Self-care can feel selfish to anyone. Nurses are especially prone to feel selfish for choosing self-care because we are natural givers and tend to keep the focus on everyone else. One step in implementing self-care is to acknowledge that it is not selfish; instead, nurses caring for themselves is essential for achieving a healthy balance in all aspects of life.

4. Does Self-Care for Nurses Cost a Lot of Money?

Some people spend money on expensive routines to practice self-care, but that does not mean self-care for nurses has to cost a lot of money. Meditation, speaking affirmations, writing in a journal, or taking a walk in the park only cost a few minutes of your time. It is up to you how much, if anything, you spend on self-care practices for nurses.

5. My Nurse Leader Does Not Allow Me Time Off to Practice Self-Care, What Should I Do?

While there may be times when it would be nice to have some extra time off to focus solely on yourself, that doesn’t mean it is a “must” for self-care. You can implement self-care practices on your lunch break or on a day off. You can use self-care techniques at home, in your car, or sitting outside on a bench during your break at work.

6. What Are The 3 Self-Care Activities Every Nurse Must Do?

Several self-care activities can benefit nurses. Three of the most important self-care practices for nurses are eating a healthy diet, having a regular exercise regimen, and getting plenty of rest. These three activities can impact every aspect of balance in a nurse's life and should never be overlooked.


Darby Faubion BSN, RN
Darby Faubion is a nurse and Allied Health educator with over twenty years of experience. She has assisted in developing curriculum for nursing programs and has instructed students at both community college and university levels. Because of her love of nursing education, Darby became a test-taking strategist and NCLEX prep coach and assists nursing graduates across the United States who are preparing to take the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX).