Nursing School (and Beyond) Self Care

I will be the first to tell you it feels like there’s no time for anything in nursing school. Between classes, studying, and trying to have any semblance of a life and sleep, self-care can easily fall to the curb. After being in nursing school, though, I’ve realized the importance of finding time for yourself and doing little things even when it feels like there’s just no time. Self-care doesn’t have to be anything crazy. It just means making the most of every day and doing what makes you happy. Below I have listed out some of the ways I like to practice self-care. I don’t do all of them every day, but whatever you can find time for is a nice break.

Journaling –Try journaling for just 20 minutes or so a week. Set a timer, grab a pen, and write whatever pops into your head until the timer goes off.

Reading –As a college student, it can be hard to afford books, but you can always try out a used bookstore or see if your local library has an online selection. It can be such a relief to read something that isn’t a textbook.

Yoga – Yoga is one of those things where you don’t realize how great it is until suddenly you notice you’re calmer, and your tired nurses’ body is a little less sore. I recommend starting out practicing Yoga with Adrienne videos. Many of them are less than 30 minutes, and it’s totally free. It’s worth it, I promise!

Spend time outside – Unless you live in Florida like I used to, the weather is pretty nice a good chunk of the year. Take advantage of it! Go for a walk, or maybe even set up a blanket and read a book or do some studying. Even studying outside can feel like a form of self-care.

Find a hobby – Even if nothing else I’ve listed interests you, find something. Maybe it’s house plants, perhaps an instrument. Whatever it is, experiment and find something. You’ll find that studying feels much better if you have something to look forward to or break up the day.

Schedule your days – I know this sounds like the complete opposite of self-care and a little unconventional but hear me out. In nursing school, it can feel like your to-do list never end. Like never, ever, ever ends. By planning your days it will give you time to relax and take care of yourself. At the beginning of the week, sit down and decide what studying you want to get done and if there are any errands/cleaning/life to do. Use your schedule to break up what day you’ll do each of these things. If you don’t get everything done when you planned, don’t stress. You have tomorrow. If you do get everything done, though, stop. In nursing school, there’s a constant feeling that you could do more. Just relax while you can. It’s seriously one of the best things you can do for yourself.

Have a morning and night routine –Days in nursing school can be crazy and change constantly. Having a solid morning and night routine can help give you a sense of calm and control. No matter how busy your days get, at least they will begin and end in the same calming way.

Meal prep – It helps, I swear! Taking care of yourself means eating. The easiest way to do this to have your food ready to go when you get hungry. I dread my Sunday meal prep, but Monday me always thanks Sunday me for taking the time to make sure I have fresh food that’s ready to go. If you want to know how I meal prep, look no further than here.

It took me all of nursing school to find things that help me feel like I’m somewhat in control of my life. Some weeks I feel like the self-care queen, other weeks I don’t even have time to wash my hair. Meeting yourself wherever you are, and I promise it’ll be worth it.

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