After weeks of classes and studying, stress builds for nursing students who have have clinicals and exams to pass. That stress can lead to poor health, whether it’s due to sleep deprivation, not eating right or both. However, there are several things that students in nursing school can do to remain healthy emotionally, mentally and physically.
Eat Fast, Healthy Snacks
With the hustle and bustle that nursing students are thrown into, many of them believe that they don’t have the time to eat right. Fast food is often the most convenient in their minds, but they can substitute these foods with fast, healthy snacks such as avocados, almonds, blueberries and bananas. Studies show that these foods give the brain a boost more than eating potato chips or ice cream. Students who still crave fast food can simply opt for a grilled chicken wrap or grilled chicken sandwich rather than a greasy hamburger or cheeseburger.
Along with eating healthy snacks, students need to make sure that they do not become dehydrated. Along with ensuring the body has the water that it needs to function properly, drinking water is a great way to feel full in between meals so that students do not make bad food choices. Although drinking water is the best way to stay hydrated, some fruits and vegetables that have high water content are also good sources of water. Sugary drinks and fruit juices, however, can be hard on the stomachs of those who are dehydrated. Students should also avoid caffeine because it acts as a diuretic, making the body lose fluids.
Get Plenty of Sleep
One of the biggest problems that students have in nursing school is sleep deprivation, which contributes to aches and pains, hallucinations, impaired immune function, irritability, memory problems and stress. Getting just three to five hours of sleep also increases the risk of becoming distracted and has a negative impact on overall health and grades. Students who do not get enough sleep are quick to make poor food choices as well. All of these are reasons to get at least seven hours of sleep every night. Additionally, having a nightly routine before bed can improve quality of sleep.
Exercise While Studying
Exercise is one of the best ways for people in general to relieve anxiety and stress. According to Harvard Medical School, regular exercise boosts the ability of the body to retain information by releasing memory-enhancing proteins in the brain. This means that incorporating exercise into study time can improve how well nursing students learn the material. One way to do this is to study for a while and then take a jogging or walking break while talking about exam notes. Students could also jump rope or hop on a treadmill. Additionally, meditating prior to study sessions could improve focus and alleviate stress.
Make a Schedule, Be Organized
Students may find that creating a schedule that includes time for food preparation, studying, exercise and leisure activities helps them stay focused and healthy. This works similar to how having a nightly routine helps you sleep better. While making a schedule, students should ensure that the other classmates who are in their study groups are there to learn rather than sit around and chat with friends. It’s also important for nursing students to be organized. Studies show that reading assigned materials before lectures and then reviewing them afterward helps students retain information.
Just because nursing school is hectic and stressful does not mean that students should ignore their health. By following a schedule and taking care of their bodies, nursing students can reduce their stress and ensure their bodies function properly while achieving their goals.
For more information on nursing degrees, please see: Top Cheapest Online RN to BSN Programs.