Self-Care for Nursing Students: 5 Ways to Avoid Burnout

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Self-care for nursing students is essential. It can take many forms, so it’s important to identify which activities help reduce stress and schedule time accordingly. Simple self-care practices, such as talking to friends and family and regular exercise, can effectively fight burnout.

woman meditating in living room

Nursing school can be challenging as it prepares students for the rigors of a nursing career. The fast-paced timeline can make nursing school even more demanding if you are enrolled in an accelerated nursing track, such as the University of the Incarnate Word’s Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) track. Because of the challenges students face, it’s critical to prioritize self-care for nursing students.

What is Self-Care in Nursing?

Self-care is the deliberate act of improving one’s physical, mental and spiritual health. It can take many forms, such as preparing nutritious meals, exercising, meditating or engaging in activities that bring joy or relaxation.

Self-care and nursing go hand in hand. Self-care is so important that it’s codified in the American Nurses Association’s Code of Ethics. Nurses who maintain self-care practices and routines can decrease stress and avoid burnout.

nurse in red scrubs sitting in chair

A nursing career can be demanding but rewarding. Read more to learn why you should consider a nursing career.

The Importance of Self-Care in Nursing School

While self-care is essential for nurses, it’s equally important during nursing school. It will help you meet the curriculum demands and excel in your coursework. Self-care for nursing students enables you to reset between courses so you can return to your work refreshed and ready to take on new challenges.

5 Tips on Self-Care for New and Student Nurses

Implementing self-care routines can be challenging when you are inundated with coursework, due dates and clinical rotations. To help make self-care easier, schedule it throughout your week so you don’t forget. Below are five tips to help you prioritize self-care without letting your schoolwork fall by the wayside.

1. Check in with Yourself

The first step to implementing self-care in your routine is to check in with yourself and identify areas that need attention. It may seem overly simplified, but it’s easy to get wrapped up in your responsibilities and forget to focus on yourself. Take time daily to check in with yourself and address your immediate physical, mental or social needs.

UIW nursing student smiling

2. Identify Self-Care Practices

Everyone’s effective self-care practices look different. Some people enjoy meditation to help them relax, while others may prefer exercise. Consider the activities you enjoy and schedule time for them throughout your week. Whether it’s playing video games during a free hour or going for a run, it’s essential to find time to relax to avoid burnout.

3. Talk with Friends and Family

Social interactions can be very effective in avoiding burnout. Planning gatherings with your fellow students during free time or calling your friends and family can help remind you why you chose nursing school in the first place or lift your mood on difficult days. While it may seem small, social interactions are a vital part of self-care for nursing students.

4. Go Outside

As a nursing student, you will spend a lot of time indoors during simulation labs and clinical rotations, but it’s still important to step outside. Minor adjustments to your routine, such as studying outside or walking between classes, can brighten your day without taking time away from your responsibilities.

UIW logo painted on window of a building

5. Implement Regular Exercise

Self-care and physical health are closely connected. Be sure to schedule time to exercise throughout the week. Whether you prefer working out in a gym, playing sports or simply taking a walk, regular exercise prepares your body for the demands of clinicals and helps reset your mind.

Are you ready to start your nursing education? Read more to learn how you can prepare for nursing school.

students in class

Take The Steps Toward Earning a Nursing Degree Today

At UIW, students receive ample support to meet the ABSN demands and graduate ready to earn their nursing license. If you have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree or at least 60 college credits, you may meet the ABSN admission requirements.

Contact us today to learn how to take the first steps toward earning a BSN.