We often hear people as tips for saving money and staying healthy only to be met with excuses.
“It costs too much to eat healthily.”
“I don’t have the time or money for regular exercise.”
“Even if I change how I eat and move, it probably won’t make that big of a difference in my life.”
These are common statements we tell ourselves when facing the prospect of changing our lifestyle. After all, fast food is the cheapest option, and working out would mean less time for your work and personal life, right? And when you’re a nurse or medical professional, free time is very precious — why complicate matters when all you want to do is recharge?
Here’s the thing: When you make a plan, you can actually save money and eat nutritious foods. You can also figure out a fitness routine that accommodates your specific schedule. And when you do, your physical, mental, and emotional health will benefit. In other words, it’s entirely practical to live healthier and happier while improving your financial standing.
Plan your meals
Many people perceive meal planning to be incompatible with their lifestyles because of the time it takes to strategize for the week. But the truth is it can save you significant time (and money) once you get in a rhythm.
Research nutritious foods that interest you, and list the ingredients you need to prepare them. Then, go to the grocery store and buy only the items on the list. Once you have your ingredients, use a meal planning template to prepare your foods for the week. The entire process should only take a few hours, and you’ll have healthy meals and snacks to grab from the fridge during busy workdays.
Some experts believe that eating less meat can improve heart health. And it’s no secret that buying less meat can help anyone save money. Fortunately, there are plant-based proteins like legumes, nuts, grains, and seeds to provide you with energy throughout the day. When you do choose meat, opt to have it once a day on a salad or chopped in a hot dish.
Edit your living environment
If you’re like most people, you spend a lot of time at home. Even if you’re only there for a few hours out of the day, it’s essential that it’s a restful time. You can make simple changes to your home environment that support a healthy lifestyle.
For example, creating a cleaning routine, adding plants, and replacing your lighting can significantly reduce stress and boost energy. Also, keeping healthy foods in your fridge and using everyday items for exercise can help you stay fit and healthy.
Exposure to sunshine comes with well-documented benefits. Look for more opportunities to do things outdoors, whether it’s going for a leisurely walk, doing a HIIT workout in the backyard, or even sitting on the patio while reading a book. The sun is an excellent source of vitamin D, and you can quickly yield a plethora of physical, mental, and emotional health benefits by spending a little more time outside.
Take extra steps to live healthier
It’s hard to exercise consistently when you’re always busy. But you can still find ways to fit in a bit of exercise no matter how much you’re working. Take the stairs, go for a walk on your lunch break, or park a bit further from the building. You might be surprised by how much these practical acts can positively impact your overall health and well-being.
Stop bad habits
Sometimes, we allow bad habits to harm our health and finances. For example, smoking cigarettes is the leading culprit of lung cancer, which is the most deadly cancer in the U.S. When you consider that the average pack of cigarettes costs nearly $7, it’s easy to see how much money they can waste. Consider any harmful habits you can kick for a better, more fulfilling life.
Meanwhile, if you’re trying to cut down on sugar, one of the first places to start is by stopping or reducing your intake of sugary drinks. You might be surprised how much sugar is hiding in your morning coffee or afternoon soda. Switching to unsweetened iced tea, water, or seltzer water can help you slash your sugar intake and improve your overall health.
Another unhealthy habit that’s easy to break is mindless snacking. When we eat mindlessly, we tend to eat more than we need and make poor food choices. If you find yourself snacking out of boredom, try occupying yourself with another activity. Taking a walk, reading a book, or calling a friend are all great ways to fight off temptation and make better choices for your health.
Finally, if you’re trying to improve your sleep habits, one of the best things you can do is turn off electronics an hour before bedtime. The blue light emitted by screens can disrupt our natural sleep patterns, making it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep through the night. So instead of scrolling through social media before bed, try reading a book or taking a relaxing bath. You’ll sleep better and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day ahead.
Check-in with the doc
As a nurse, you probably know that too many people cancel doctor’s visits or neglect to fill a prescription because they think it can save them money. But in reality, ignoring health concerns can cost you significantly in the long run.
Getting the care you need can help you avoid exorbitant medical bills down the road, not to mention help you feel better in the short term. Look into your insurance options to determine how to keep up with your checkups and maintain your health.
If you want to save money and get healthier, drink a lot of water. Soda, juice, sweet coffee drinks, and other sugary beverages are more expensive and can lead to obesity and countless other health conditions. Keep more money in your pocket and give your body what it needs by choosing water throughout the day!
In addition to saving money, you’ll also be contributing to your health. A can of soda typically contains around 39 grams of sugar, which is well over the recommended daily limit for adults. Drinking just one can of soda per day leads to weight gain, increased risk of type 2 diabetes, and other serious health problems. In contrast, water is a calorie-free way to stay hydrated and promote a healthy weight. It also helps to flush toxins from the body and aids in digestion. For these reasons, choosing water over soda is one of the simplest and most effective ways to improve your health.
Pay attention to your mental health
Finally, remember to take your mental health seriously. Psychological issues can drastically lower your quality of life and negatively impact your finances. Some conditions make it challenging for individuals to maintain work performance, and some increase the risk of various chronic health issues. Poor mental health can also make you more susceptible to substance abuse.
Thankfully, the world is becoming more aware of the importance of mental health and happiness. If possible, get counseling, therapy, or any other treatments necessary to maintain your mental well-being. And take practical steps to improve your lifestyle each day.
No, getting fit and healthy doesn’t mean you have to drain your bank account! Following the tips on saving money and staying healthy above can quickly put you on track for an all-around more nutritious, more fulfilling life. But keep researching other ideas and strategies for boosting your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Your body, mind, and wallet will thank you!
For more great content like this, check out the other articles and blog posts offered on Cup of Nurses.
The Opportunities Nursing Brings with Britt Greaves
The opportunities nursing brings are endless. Nursing, as a profession, offers plenty of chances for better careers and many nursing fields that you can pursue. And while this opens many possibilities to nurses, many are also hesitant to change career fields. There’s that feeling that they cannot do other things than the ones they already know. But this is not true, as nurses, we have the skills to survive anything.
We have the power to choose, remember that. If you are unhappy with work, it’s time to make room for changes. Explore new places, try different nursing units, pursue the nursing field of your dreams – take hold of your career and embrace the opportunities we’re given. Let’s start today.
In this episode, we would like to introduce you to Britt Greaves. Britt Greaves is a nurse who worked in specialties such as Hospice/Palliative Care, and ICU, and traveled for over 5 years in the PICU. When she isn’t working you can find her blogging, volunteering on international medical mission trips, or advocating for mental health in the nursing community through her founded safe space The Debrief. Transitioning from the bedside, Britt is the Community Manager at Trusted Health, where she now advocates for the health of the nursing community.
We discuss the importance of speaking about your feelings, how to heal, and the debrief.
QUESTIONS FOR GUESTS
The questions below are some we’d like to tackle. We go off-topic all the time so we don’t expect to hit them all. If you have any ideas please let us know. Looking forward to our conversation!
How has your nursing journey been?
You’ve worked in a handful of specialties as a staff and then as a travel nurse to now focusing on projects away from the bedside. How did you slowly transition away from staff to travel?
Is there a time you can recall in or out of nursing that really opened up your mind to mindfulness and mental health?
Can you talk to us about how you began incorporating mindfulness into your life and how it has helped you?
Meditation, what kind do you do?
What were the darkest depths you have experienced as a traveler to rediscover yourself?
Chakras and sound healing, how did you get into it? And how does it help you?
What were you struggling with that turned you to these practices?
What is the Debrief?
How did you get involved with trusted and what is trusted?
Before we end the show we have one last question we like to ask all our guests. If you had the opportunity to have a Cup of coffee with anybody one last time, who would it be & why?
You can learn more about the opportunities nursing brings by watching the full episode here 👇👇
00:00 Introduction 02:02 About Brit Greaves 02:43 Exploring other fields of healthcare 05:56 The benefits of travel nursing 07:30 The reasons for leaving the bedside 09:16 The challenges outside of nursing 10:42 Nursing attributes that help through life 13:03 Healing yourself, meditation, and sound healing 20:12 About The Debrief 22:19 Selfcare in nursing and gratitude 27:24 Why is it hard for nurses to take time off? 34:42 Talking about TravCon 35:43 Goals for the travel nursing community 38:28 Opportunities as a travel nurse 40:43 End remarks
There are plenty of us who work the night shift, and nurses, in particular, have ways to survive the night shift. Now, if you are a new nurse and are assigned on your first night shift, here are ways to get through the night.
9 Ways to Survive the Night Shift
Working as a night shift nurse can be both rewarding and demanding. Depending on where you are assigned, you can either love your assignment or hate it. So, how can you survive working the night shift? Here are nine ways:
1. Set your night shift schedule.
One of the first challenges you will encounter as a first-time night shift nurse is sleep. When you are used to sleeping at night, sleeping during the day may be problematic. To avoid this, clear a schedule when you will sleep after your shift and then stick to it. Of course, this will be entirely up to you.
2. Stick to a routine that works for you.
Time management is essential as a night shift nurse. Create a routine that works and stick to it. Whether scheduling your time with friends, family, or yourself, a schedule that works for you is vital.
3. Get enough sleep.
Working on a night shift can mess up your body clock. That said, you must create an environment conducive to sleep. A quiet, darkened room, an eye mask, and disconnecting yourself from everything can help you get the sleep you need .
4. Keep caffeine to a minimum.
One of the ways to survive the night shift is drinking coffee or caffeinated drinks. Although this helps keep you awake, drinking too much caffeine is not healthy. It is recommended to drink coffee about 20 to 35 minutes before starting your work to keep you alert for the night. It would also be best to limit your coffee to at least two cups.
5. Bring healthy snacks and stay hydrated.
It is common to get hungry at night time. If you think you will be hungry on your shift, snacks can help you. However, I would recommend you eat a full meal an hour before going on your night shift .
Choosing healthy snacks to bring is essential. Keep in mind that gaining weight is easy when working a night shift. Our metabolism is slower at night, which also makes our digestion slow. Healthy snacks like nuts, fruits, salad, granola bars, and other healthy options are excellent if you don’t want to gain weight.
6. Watch your health.
Many night shift workers are prone to health risks, which is why sticking to a healthy diet is a must. As a nurse, you must check your health as well. Insomnia, diabetes, increased blood pressure, colds, and a weakened immune system are just a few of the health issues that night shift nurses may experience.
7. Keep yourself busy.
One of the many challenges of night shift nurses is to stay awake throughout the night. It is hard to keep your eyes open when you don’t get enough sleep the day before your shift. To keep yourself awake, find activities that can help your stay up all night.
When I was doing my night shifts, one of the ways that helped me stay up was to arrange the supply closet. I made sure that everything was in order and checked for lacking supplies. Not only did it make the supply closet neat, but it was also easier to track which items were out.
You can also find activities like that. Keeping yourself busy for the night will keep your mind awake and alert.
8. Mingle with your co-workers.
One of the ways to survive the night shift is to form a bond with your co-workers. Spend time getting to know the people you are working with and form new friendships. It will make things easier at work, especially at night.
Remember, there are only limited people to ask for help during night shifts, and the ones you can rely on are each other. Socialize with your co-workers, and you will see that work is accomplished accordingly.
9. Simple exercises can do the trick.
Keeping yourself busy is helpful but staying active is another way to keep you awake. Simple exercises like walking or stretching can keep your blood pumping. When your body is awake, your mind is too. So doing a few simple exercises will keep you up all night.
Working the night shift is not always easy, but there are ways to keep you alert and ready. Do your research, too; you may find other ways to help you survive the night shift that is not included in our list. It will help you prepare and take care of yourself better.
Solving Problems in Leadership with Michelle Troseth and Dr. Tracy Christopherson
Solving problems in leadership is the key to easing the burden of many nurses and healthcare professionals. Burnout is an ongoing issue that many nurses are experiencing. The sad thing is it can happen to anyone’s career. Long-term stress can cause anyone mental and physical exhaustion. And for the nursing profession, burnout results from their demanding job, nursing shortages, and frequent exposure to human suffering.
Nurses are witnesses to death and grieving families each day. Add the long work hours, complex patients, workplace drama, and not having effective support or leadership in the workplace can lead to intense burnout. When you are burnout, you feel helpless, but if you know how to manage it, you can enjoy a successful nursing career. But the question remains, how can we help our healthcare leaders? Is there a way in solving problems in leadership?
In this episode, we would like to introduce you to Michelle Troseth and Dr. Tracy Christopherson, co-founders of MissingLogic. With more than 60 years of combined healthcare experience, they help healthcare organizations and healthcare leaders combat burnout and improve satisfaction through the power of a framework-driven approach founded on Polarity Intelligence.
We talk about how the idea of a single solution to a single problem approach does not always fit the healthcare model and how polarity plays a role in leadership and healthcare dynamics.
QUESTIONS FOR GUESTS
The questions below are some we’d like to tackle. We often go off-topic, so we don’t expect to hit them all. If you have any ideas, please let us know.
Looking forward to our conversation!
These are the questions you had in Calendly. We’ll go off your questions and wherever else our conversation goes.
Can you give us your nursing experience & background
Based on your experience, speak to us about leadership in healthcare
Why do we need new leadership norms in healthcare?
What are some toxic workplace behaviors/environments that lead to burnout?
What is Polarity intelligence?
How does it benefit hospital organizations and nurse leaders?
How do you identify tension in the workplace?
How do you guys go about consulting organizations in healthcare?
What are the three pillars of a healthy healthcare organization?
People, Processes, and Performance.
How do you create dynamic balance in our lives – professionally and personally?
Before we end the show, we have one last question we like to ask all our guests. If you had the opportunity to have a Cup of coffee with anybody one last time, who would it be & why?
Catch up with Michelle and Dr. Tracy to learn more about solving problems in leadership on their Instagram at @missinglogic_llc and follow them on their Facebook at Missing Logic, LLC. You can also connect with them through their LinkedIn profile at missinglogicllc for more information.
Let’s learn the ways to solve problems in leadership by watching the full episode here 👇
00:00 Introduction 02:00 About Michelle and Tracy 05:46 Importance of healthy leadership in healthcare 09:17 Stressors for nurse managers 12:34 Toxic behavior that leads to burnout 17:23 Polarity Intelligence 21:19 Margins and the mission 24:43 Challenges in union vs nonunion hospital 30:18 Is more nurses ever the solution? 36:21 How healthcare organizations solve problems 37:46 Unit satisfaction and culture 42:31 Characteristics of good leaders 50:22 End Remarks
Is there a nursing shortage in the United States? That is the question in everyone’s mind. But according to the American Nurses Association, more nursing jobs will be available through 2022. It is the fastest-growing profession compared to any other job in the US.
Learn more about nursing shortage by watching the full episode here 👇
00:00 Introduction 01:42 About the guest 02:32 Nursing school vs nursing 06:15 Changes in healthcare post-pandemic 09:26 How managers and nurse leaders can help nurses 14:08 Corruption in healthcare 19:51 Setting boundaries as a nurse 23:20 The powerlessness of nursing and where to file reports 26:29 Are nursing unions worth it? 33:20 Why hospitals hate unions 43:48 Is there a nursing shortage? 51:13 End remarks