Nurses can pick up some pretty bad habits.
1. Working overtime. I wish someone would have told me when I became a nurse not to work overtime. I wish someone would have told me that the money is addicting, and it’s hard to make less when you’re use to making more. Now that I’ve set the standard for myself, it’s hard to stop working 5-6 days a week.
2. Spending less time with family. You will begin to rationalize it in your head. You may even think you’re doing them a favor… after all, someone has to work. But don’t miss the soccer games or the weekend parties. At least, don’t miss too many. Because once you start to rationalize it all in your head, it’s hard to break away and remember that once the time is gone, it’s gone!
3. Not drinking enough water. You will start believe that you need the coffee. You may think you really have to have the caffeine in order to function. But slowly, you will replace any water with an energy drink or anything with caffeine. Most nurses just need to drink more water.
4. Not getting enough sleep. So many nurses work a 12-hour shift, which usually equates to a 13 or 14-hour shift. If we work three 12-hour shifts a week, we’re basically losing 12 entire days of our lives a month. That’s almost half of the month (and that’s without working any overtime). So when we are off, we’re trying to cram all the stuff we need to get done. We may start getting up earlier, or more likely staying up later. We’ll slowly start to lose the amount of time we dedicate to sleeping.
5. Neglecting your spouse. It’s easy to start neglecting the ones we love, because we expect them to understand everything we have to do when we’re at work, and we expect them to know just how tired we are on our days off. But be careful not to start neglecting the person you expect to always be by your side… you may one day find out that they’re long gone.
6. Eating in the cafeteria. Cafeteria food is expensive and tends to be on the unhealthier side… and most cafeterias are only open during set-hours, so it also limits the times available for you to actually eat. Don’t start this unhealthy habit. Get into the routine of bringing your lunch and lots of healthy snacks that you could quickly eat throughout the day.
7. Not taking care of ourselves. Whether it’s lack of sleep, unhealthy eating habits, or not taking the time to exercise, we tend to prioritize ourselves last. Do not pick up this habit! Our health and well-being is important, and we have to set aside time to take care of ourselves. This may mean setting aside time to spend with friends, or it may mean setting aside time to exercise. It may mean ensuring you snack healthy throughout the day. Either way, not taking care of yourself is not a habit you want to pick up.