We all know how important it is to practice self-care when you have a stressful job like nursing. Meditation and exercise are wonderful ways to refresh your mind and body, but maybe you’ve found yourself getting bored with these activities. Step out of your comfort zone and try something new with these five unique ways to practice self-care.

1. Hydrotherapy Floating

During a hydrotherapy float session, you will float effortlessly in a 94-degree tub thanks to 1,000 pounds of Epsom salts. Floating can help reduce stress, ease chronic pain, and enhance mindfulness. While floating you can either let your mind wander or have a blissful meditation session. Either way, at the end of your float, you will feel relaxed and ready to take on anything that comes your way.

2. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice that uses tiny needles to stimulate different points on the body. It may not sound very relaxing to be poked with needles, but if you’re brave enough to give it a try, you won’t regret it. Your acupuncturist will begin by placing several needles on your body based on your concerns, such as headache or stress relief. Once the needles have been placed, you will be left alone to relax and listen to soothing music. After the needles have had time to work their magic, they will be removed and you will be amazed by how much better you feel.

3. Massage

Nursing is a very physically demanding job that can leave you with tight, achy muscles. Massage is a great way to relax and relieve any built-up tension. There are several different types of massage you can try, like hot stone, deep tissue or Swedish. Each massage appointment is customized to the client’s specific need in terms of pressure, intensity and location. Let your massage therapist know if you have any areas that you would like them to focus on, like your shoulders, calves or lower back after a long day at work.

4. Hot Yoga

Hot yoga is exactly what it sounds like—the practice of yoga in room heated to 95-105 degrees. During your yoga practice, you are encouraged to focus on your breathing and let each inhale and exhale guide you to a new pose. Your stress will begin to drip away as your mind is cleared of any lingering thoughts about your day at work. If you’re worried about hot yoga being too intense, many studios offer warm yoga, which will provide the same benefits but in a cooler room.

5. Chiropractic Alignment

Being on your feet for long hours or hunching over a computer screen doing charting can cause some serious spinal misalignment. Spinal misalignment can lead to back pain, knots, sore muscles and even headaches. A chiropractor can straighten out any pains you are having (literally), and advise you on how to protect your spine and prevent further injury. After a few cracks here and a few pops there, you’ll feel like a completely new person.

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Sarah Cruzan, BSN, RN

Sarah Cruzan is a nurse on a Family Maternity Unit.
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