You're a respected nurse working 12-hour shifts, raising a wonderful family, successfully maintaining your household, and creatively financing. Sound about right? But, something is missing – your "me" time!

What about nursing wellness? Your emotional and physical health? How many nurses turn to unhealthy eating habits, caffeine addiction, and/or smoking to "get through the day"? How many nurses fail to take "me" time? Don't fall into these traps.

Here are some helpful ways to stay healthy and chisel out time for you!

  • Get a calendar and use it! Schedule at least four hours for yourself each week. Do not let anything, short of a 911 emergency, take this time away. During your time, don't cook, catch up on bills, clean, or do anything for anyone else! This is your time to do activities for you! Sound far fetched? It's not really.
  • Do the Math. For the analytical out there (like me), we know there are 24 hours in a day – 7 days in a week – for 168 total hours. Let's say you give 50 hours to the nursing job (this includes getting ready for work and travel time). This leaves you with 118 hours. Give yourself 8 hours of sleep a night (yes you can!) – subtract 56 hours. This leaves you with 62 waking hours. Can you honestly say that you can't find 4 hours to schedule you some "me" time? Even with a measly 4 hours, you would still have 58 hours – almost five-13 hour shifts – each 7 day period to spend time with your family and do you chores!
  • Say "No". It really is okay to say "no" to extra nursing shifts and eek out time for you! It is also fine to say "no" to those who call out of the blue and need a "little favor". These little favors often translate into too much time taken away from your family and yourself.
  • Give up the caffeine and smoking and start eating healthy. I hear the moans and groans already! Take care of yourself well every day so that you can have more quality time for you and your family. You do not need the daily 6 pack of diet coke or ten cups of coffee. Contrary to popular belief, McDonalds is not one of the major food groups! A healthier you is a happier you! Achieving that nursing wellness will give you more energy so you can enjoy your "me" time even more!