You’ve just finished a long travel nurse shift and the moment has come for you to head home. Hooray! But tomorrow you clock back in for a long one, so how do you recover in between shifts?
Avoid the Caffeine Fix
Oh the temptation to feed the caffeine addiction can be so uncontrollable at times. It doesn’t help that caffeine comes in many forms. We’ll catch ourselves ordering a “grande skinny latte” out of habit or popping open a Pepsi as soon as we get home. As tempting as it may be, avoiding caffeine will do wonders during your recovery time between shifts.
Unless you have plans after work that you need the extra boost, let’s stay away from the caffeine and try this next suggestion….
What’s the second most popular bottled drink in America behind soda? Yep, it’s water! We love our sugary drinks, don’t we? Most people do not drink enough water to stay hydrated and after a long shift, you certainly to replenish. Hydration impacts your mental fitness and helps reduce headaches.
Physically, more water reenergizes your muscles and keeps your skin looking good.
So how much water should you drink? The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake for men and women is roughly about 13 cups (3 liters) and 9 cups (2.2 liters) a day, respectively.
The benefits of a good night sleep are long. It can improve memory, sharpen attention, build immunity, and overall put you in a better mood. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults ages 24-64 should get 7 hours of sleep, while young adults ages 18-25 need 8 hours of shut eye.
Studies have found a link between insufficient sleep and some serious health problems, such as heart disease, heart attacks, diabetes, and obesity. So, it’s okay to hit snooze, but not too long that you sleep beyond 7 or 8 hours.
It’s just too easy to pull into a fast food drive thru window and order a #3. Nutrients deplete as your shift goes on, so when you clock out it’s time to put the nutrients back into your system. Consider making a healthy meal the day before you start your week so that you can easily eat well when you get home. Here’s an extra tip nurses have told us: keep a packet of nuts or an apple in your car so that you can eat something healthy as soon as you leave work. And put the fast food craving in the rearview mirror!
Your body needs to recover after work. By sticking to these four suggestions, you will accelerate the post-work healing process, replenish your system with nutrients, and will strengthen your body’s stamina to handle your next day’s workload.
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