Make no mistake: nursing school is no walk in the park. It can be challenging. It can be grueling. It can be incredibly demanding—and incredibly rewarding—work. With long hours, plus coursework and pressure to achieve, there is a lot weighing on the mind of a typical nursing student. It’s little wonder that many students get overwhelmed.
But nursing school is a marathon, not a sprint. Over time, the pressure to get it all done for everyone can wear you down. “Nurses are so busy taking care of others, they do not take the time to take care of themselves,” says Vicky Elfrink, Nursing Adjunct Professor, “Students need to give themselves permission to put themselves first once in a while.” Self-care and life management are obviously important, but how do you stay sane on a nursing student’s schedule? We’ve gathered some advice from the Strayer community. In honor of Nurses Week 2018, here’s what professors and students have to say about living your best nursing life.
- Get regular exercise. We know, you’re tired of hearing it. But it’s no joke—exercise can make or break you. Physical activity prompts the release of endorphins, helping to ease tension and stress, and regular exercise will keep you energized and refreshed. You don’t need hours at the gym either. Talk a walk, exercise with a jump rope, do whatever you need to do—just 15-20 minutes of focused activity a day is enough to see amazing benefits.
- Take time to sleep. We get it, it’s tough to get quality sleep with such a busy schedule. But getting a good amount of sleep can have transformative effects on your energy, mood and grades. It’s especially important to get enough sleep before an important exam or test.
- Eat good food. Proper nutrition plays a pivotal role in your success—especially while in school. Eating good, healthy food will feed your brain, giving you the power to shine in your classes and the stamina to keep up with the fast pace of nursing school.
- Make use of your in-between time. Want to find school-life balance? Make sure you’re using your school hours efficiently. Those awkward few minutes between classes? A great time to review your notes. Your commute? A perfect opportunity to get some coursework done. Hit the library after classes and knock your studying out right there. It’s better to take the time to review every day rather than try to cram everything all at once.
- Allow yourself to rest. You can’t keep going forever. Having “off” time helps you reset your brain, reenergize and helps you be more “on” when you have to be. Set aside four to eight hours and use it as a chunk of rest time. Catch up with a book, meet up with friends, spend some time in nature…try to use this time wisely!
- Find a study group. It’s important to remember that you’re not alone in the trenches. A good study group can provide a good chance of pace, emotional support and more. Set up a virtual study group online or meet up at your local campus. At worst, you’ll make new friends. At best, your study group can divide and conquer when it comes to difficult tests, assignments and other coursework.
This Nurses Week 2018, inspire, innovate and influence your peers to take the time to relax, recharge and refresh! You will all feel better in the long run!