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5 Health and Nutrition Tips Nursing Students Must Follow

Nursing is a noble profession meant to serve humanity. It can be difficult to get a nursing degree if you can’t cope with the increasing pace of studies, long hours of coursework, and examination stress. 

As a nursing student, spending a lot of time learning and ignoring your physical and mental well-being, not eating healthy, and disregarding your health may result in physical and emotional exhaustion, lower grades, health issues, and stress.

You should minimize stress, eat well, and maintain an active social life during nursing school and beyond. You must exercise consistently and make time for self-care to stay strong and energetic. Adopting healthy habits and an active lifestyle can improve your physical abilities and set a positive example for patients.

There are no specific rules for nurses regarding exercise and nutrition, but some general principles may help them make informed decisions about their lifestyle. Here are five health and nutrition tips nursing students must follow:

1. Let Go of Stress and Make Demanding Coursework Enjoyable

A nursing program or healthcare career will get you used to long study hours and prepare you for the strenuous job of a nurse practitioner. Becoming a nurse can be incredibly demanding, and you can get so swamped with your studies that you often forget to eat healthily and exercise more frequently.

Nursing courses like the doctor of nursing practice (DNP) include advanced concepts like research methodologies, analytical studies, and informatics that strengthen a BSN nurse’s biostatistical, analytical and mathematical skills for evidence-based practice. To make the doctor of nursing practice essentials more enjoyable and creative, you should learn to handle nursing stress and prioritize things in life. 

You can join a study group with fellow students. This way, you can socialize while learning more. When you get involved in group studies, you have a supportive group of peers who understand your coursework and stress. You’ll be able to prepare for exams, discuss difficult concepts, and cheer for each other.

2. Make Time for Self-Care

Nursing school offers many benefits, but it is also stressful. You might feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day for schoolwork, learning practical skills, studying for exams, and taking care of yourself. Taking care of yourself is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. While you’re caring for others, you shouldn’t forget to take care of yourself as well.

Take some time to groom yourself. You needn’t set aside daily hours to recharge and ground yourself. Make time for a nice cup of tea, read your favorite book or some newspaper, meditate whenever you get time, or chit-chat with friends. 

The idea here is to just ignore the daily hustle and bustle for a while and try to spend time with yourself in serenity.

3. Focus on Healthy Eating

While nursing students focus on healthcare essentials and providing consistent, high-quality care, they have limited information regarding nutrition and well-balanced meals.

As a nursing student, you probably get too overburdened to eat anything for a long time. If you keep doing this, your body will start showing signs of a lack of proper nutrition. These signs include muscle loss, brain fog, confusion, low blood sugar, fatigue, dull hair and nails, and depression. You eventually gain weight when you eat a diet lacking in essential food choices.

Maintaining good physical and mental health requires eating healthy in the morning and evening. You can’t concentrate on your education and get good grades when you’re drained from a poor diet. 

The right diet helps boost immunity and improves overall health. Instead of eating high-calorie or fatty foods as snacks in college, try fruit, salads, low-fat milk, yogurt, or sandwiches.

To start with, make a target of healthy foods consumption, say, 3-4 cups of fruits and vegetables daily. Include more fiber in your diet, calculate your average consumption of carbs, fats, and proteins according to your age and weight, and stick with it. Bake, grill, or air-fry your food instead of frying it. Ensure all the essential elements are on your plate at each meal. Drink plenty of water – at least 8-10 glasses per day, and avoid drinking beverages.

4. Get Enough Sleep

Getting through nursing school probably means staying awake till late at night or spending the whole night studying for exams. A consistent lack of sleep affects your ability to think and results in health deterioration, depression, and even sleeping disorders. You can’t handle stressful situations as well if you don’t get enough sleep. As a nursing student, you must be focused during the day and be able to grasp new concepts. However, a lack of sleep will prevent you from doing so.

Although getting enough sleep each night is hard, it’s important to make a bedtime routine in the evening and fall asleep within your target timeframe. When you get ample sleep, you can stay fresh the next day and concentrate easily on your studies. Research shows that resting can improve productivity and performance at work or in studies. 

Try this 1-2-3 formula to have a good night’s sleep:

  • Caffeine at least 1 hour before bedtime.
  • Gadgetries and screens at least 2 hours before bedtime.
  • Meals at least 3 hours before bedtime.

5. Exercise Regularly

Nursing students often feel like they’re doing aerobics at college, running or walking from one place to another. However, no matter how much you run around, nothing can supersede the importance of regular exercise and physical fitness activities. With regular exercise, you can steer clear of stress, fatigue, and burnout and build stamina and strength to perform well in your study sessions. No matter how light or rigorous an exercise is, it helps reduce depression, improve memory, boost immunity, and improve overall health.

Final Thoughts

Taking a nursing course and learning complex concepts of general healthcare, medical research, and bioinformatics requires a high level of physical vigor and mental clarity. Most nursing students spend much time taking coursework and studying alone or in a group. There are a lot of negative effects of eating unhealthy in college, including lower grades, illness, fatigue, and more. Students should strive to eat a balanced diet, adopt healthy exercise and sleep routines, and prioritize their health over anything else. These easy health tips can help nursing students recognize unhealthy habits and adopt a healthy lifestyle during their studies.

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