Caring for your mental health as a nursing student

Nursing school talks about the importance of studying, doing your best in clinical, never being late- all the ways to be successful in school. They fail to mention one very important part- caring for YOU. Nursing school is a challenge- mentally, emotionally, physically. You need to take care of yourself! I’m sharing some ways you can take care of your mental health in nursing school today.

Schedule Time Away from Study

You have to take a break from studying! And school. I know, it feels like there is SO much information to learn and you don’t have a second to step away. But you have to make the time for some self care every day, even if it is only a few minutes. Nursing school is important, but you are more important.

A few ideas for self care:

  • Get in some physical activity: take a walk, do some yoga, ride your bike. It doesn’t have to be going to the gym if that’s not your style!
  • Make a cup of coffee, tea, smoothie- whatever you like. And enjoy it. Sit outside or near a window. Do not study or look at your phone. Enjoy the taste, the temp, the surroundings, the relaxation.
  • Enjoy a hot bath. I know this is cliche, but after a long day of clinical, a nice soak with some epsom salt is life changing. Listen to your favorite music or watch a favorite show! Or just turn down the lights and enjoy a few minutes of quiet and relaxation.

Affirmations

Affirmations are something I recently really started using in life and they are so helpful. They can help to strengthen your self-worth by improving confidence in your ability to achieve your goals. They also help with positive self talk and being more compassionate with your self. Definitely things you need in nursing school, right!?

A few affirmations for the nursing student:

  • Everyday I am one step closer to my goal.
  • I am capable of learning this material.
  • I am proud of myself and my efforts.
  • I will be a great nurse.

Say these affirmations, everyday. At the start of the day. When things feel tough. Before you go to bed. You deserve to speak to yourself with love and kindness.

Sleep

You HAVE to sleep as a nursing student. You have too. Sleep is so important to both your mental and physical health. It is better to get an extra hour of sleep than an extra hour of studying you won’t retain because of exhaustion. I know, life is busy. You may not sleep as much as you would like and there are nights where sleep doesn’t really happen. But being mindful to try to get at least 6-7 hours of sleep a night as often as possible is essential.

Eating Well

I lived a lot off caffeine and vending machine snacks in school I will admit. But, your body and brain will not run their best if you are not eating well! I’m not hear to tell you to cook every night, only eat organic, etc. I get it! I was a broke nursing student with little time. Crockpot meals can be your best friend. Easy to pack lunches. You don’t have to cut out the convenience food completely, I know that’s not reality. But adding some fruits, veggies, healthy fats, and lean protein to you diet will have you feeling more energetic and clear minded! Also- HYDRATE! Seriously, I drank a LOT of coffee in nursing school. But you have to drink water! Buy a nice water bottle (I literally bought one at dollar tree in nursing school and always kept it filled) and keep it filled. Add lemon or other fruit to it if water just isn’t your jam. But again, your brain cells (and the rest of your body) will thank you!

Talk to Someone

Find a classmate, a nurse, a friend, significant other, family member- someone to talk too! If you can afford a therapist or a coach- even better. Having someone you can share the highs and lows with is important and will help you feel less alone in nursing school.

Also consider joining a NSN Support Group! I would love to start one for nursing students if anyone would be interested- share below or message me on Instagram!

If you are really struggling, please talk to your doctor. Find a therapist. There are low cost options now, sometimes through your job or school. Please do not struggle alone. People are here and we want to support you.

Are you a nursing student? What are you doing to take care of your mental health? What are you going to start doing after reading this post? Share any thoughts and questions below!

A few other post to check out:

Self Care: A necessity to preventing burn out

Difficult Nurses in Clinical: How To Deal!

Tips for Surviving Nursing School

 

 

 

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