Essential Self-Care Ideas and Destress Tips For Nurses

From yoga to healthy eating, these essential self-care ideas will make all the difference in your life as a nurse. How can you take care of others if you don’t first take care of yourself?

Our jobs as nurses aren’t just tough, it’s stressful and draining. Some shifts are so tough that you’ll come home and feel deflated. That’s why it is so important to take care of both your mind and your body.

Every single tip here is equally important. Find the ones that work for you and put them into practice. Make them a part of your daily or weekly routine.

From yoga to healthy eating, these essential self-care ideas will make all the difference in your life as a nurse. Destress and stay healthy. #thenerdynurse #nurse #nurses #destress #selfcare #healthynurse #nursehealth
From yoga to healthy eating, these essential self-care ideas will make all the difference in your life as a nurse. Destress and stay healthy. #thenerdynurse #nurse #nurses #destress #selfcare #healthynurse #nursehealth

Essential Self-Care Ideas For Nurses

Try to do as many of these things as you can. The more you invest in yourself, the better you’ll be able to do your job as a nurse.

Think of it like this. Your energy is a glass. The more you give, the emptier it gets. You need to find ways to keep refilling your glass so that you have more to pour out.

Eat Right

First, be very careful about what you eat. Choose foods that will fuel your body and keep it working at its peak condition. How this looks depends on your body. Some people thrive on vegan diets, others find more energy when they eat gluten-free.

If you need to, it’s worth it to speak with a nutritionist. After you find out which foods help you stay your healthiest, eat more of them.


Moving and exercising is just as important as eating right. Sure, you are probably moving a lot on every shift. Find some times or places where you can take a peaceful walk or move and be away from call lights and stressful voices.

This could be as simple as a walk around your neighborhood or doing a kickboxing video.

Fuel Your Mind

Another essential part of self-care is taking care of your mind. Find a little time each week to fill it with encouraging thoughts and tips. Spend less time reading gossip or anything negative.

Read things that uplift you and make you happy. This could be anything from a murder mystery to a nonfiction memoir.

If you don’t enjoy reading, you can also listen to audio-books. The important part is giving yourself the gift of positive thoughts.

Find Emotional Support

All nurses, just like all humans, need emotional support. You need someone that you can vent to, a safe place where you can express all your frustration and feelings.

Being a nurse is a very emotional job. You are caring for sick people and their families can be emotionally draining. That’s why it is so important to find a person or a group of people with whom you can decompress and be supported.

Indulgent Self-Care Ideas

Sometimes, you just need to pamper yourself. When you treat yourself with grace and kindness, you will feel better and happier.

Some of these little treats include:

  • A professional massage
  • Manicure/Pedicure
  • A new pair of shoes
  • Watching a movie or tv show at home
  • Soaking in a hot bath

Destress Tips

While you are taking care of yourself, it’s important to monitor your stress levels and handle them in healthy ways. Too much stress can do really harmful things to your body.

These destress tips work for lots of nurses, I hope they help you too.

Practice Deep Breathing

Deep breathing will calm your heart rate and help you gain control of your mind and body. It is a proven way to relieve stress that builds up in your neck and body.

The University of Michigan has a detailed guide that explains how to practice deep breathing. This is something you can do at work, in the car, or when you get home.

Work It Out

Another stress-relieving technique is to exercise. Just like in the self-care guide earlier, it’s important to find a way to exercise that feels the best for you.

Moving produces endorphins, the “happy hormones.” When you get your heart pumping, you naturally work through any stress or tension that was building up in your muscles.

Find A Support Group

A supportive person or a support group is essential for decompressing and handling stressful situations. Talking to someone that understands – like other nurses – will be the most effective solution.

Your partner or spouse can be another fantastic support system. They know you better than anyone else. They will be able to help you decompress and process the stressful situation.


Artistic expression is another way to work through your stress and let it go. Some people love journaling. Writing is therapeutic and a way to get everything out of their head.

Other people love painting or singing. Whatever your preferred method is, find a way to express your emotions. Keeping them bottled up is unhealthy for both your mind and your body.

Nurse Self-Care Ideas: Final Thoughts

Make self-care a top priority. You give of your time and energy every single shift. It’s imperative that you take care of yourself so that you are able to take care of others too.

Above all, look inward. Find out what you need and do more of that. Surround yourself with people that lift you up and encourage you. Nursing is an exhausting and difficult career, you need a support system that will help you thrive.

Nursing Resources

Nobody knows the nursing life quite like other nurses. Here are some more resources that you just might find helpful too.

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1 thought on “Essential Self-Care Ideas and Destress Tips For Nurses”

  1. Being a mental health nurse, I can relate to the importance of self care in our lives. Without proper self care, we find ourselves depleted and lacking all energy and motivation. There’s not much we can give to others when we feel that way

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