The average nurse in the U.S. works 12 hour shifts. That translates to twelve hours of continual standing or walking. That’s 36 hours a week, 144 hours a month, 1728 hours a year. To say a nurse’s feet take a beating, is an understatement. The feet are a nurse’s most valuable asset. Why not pamper them at the end of a hectic work week with a few simple at home treatments?
Lavender Epsom Salt Soak
Add a cup of Epsom salt, 4-6 drops of essential lavender oil (organic preferably), and warm water to a foot bath or basin. Soak your feet for 10 to 15 minutes. The magnesium sulfate in Epsom salts relaxes the tired muscles of the feet and reduces swelling. The lavender oil has an added soothing and relaxing effect. It is thought that lavender oil has many additional benefits including both antibacterial and antifungal effects.
After soaking your feet, ask your partner or kids to give their well deserved nurse a foot massage. Massage increases circulation, reduces swelling of the feet, releases endorphins, and just feels great!
Yoga for Feet
One of my favorite yoga poses, Viparita Karani, is a simple pose that is perfect for tired, achy feet. You can practice this pose on the floor, on the couch, or even in bed provided there is a bit of wall space. Bring one hip against a wall, bend your elbows behind you, and swing your legs up the wall (see photo). Stay here for at least five minutes. Not only will your feet thank you, but your mind will as well. This pose reduces swelling of the feet, ankles, legs, and calms the mind. Contraindications to this pose are glaucoma or severe neck or back injury.
Follow this simple routine around bedtime and your feet, whole body will thank you. Taking care of your feet is just a small part of self care that is essential to be of better service to others. Here’s to happier feet!
Lori is a travel nurse that has made her way to Sweden. She is also a Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Teacher. Follow her adventures working and traveling through Europe in her blog, Neonurse, or on Instagram