5 in 5: Quick Tips For Freshening Up During a Long Shift
No matter how you slice it, working an 8- or 12-hour nursing shift is tough. Not only are you on your feet for much of it, but the constant prioritizing and multitasking take a toll on your brain power. You don’t have much time to take care of yourself while at work– even a lunch break is an accomplishment for many nurses. But there are fast and simple ways to refresh your body and mind so that you can get through your day and still feel human.
Sip Some Peppermint Tea
Whether on the day or night shift, peppermint tea is an instant perk-me-up without the unwanted effects of caffeine (you want to get to bed at some point!) Studies show that peppermint tea can benefit an uptight GI tract, has analgesic and anesthetic effects and can act as an immunity booster.
Brush Your Teeth
Gum and breath mints are great in a pinch, but nothing works as well as a good tooth brushing for fresh breath and overall dental health. Your dentist will be thrilled.
Divide Your Shift Into Blocks
There’s nothing like looking ahead at the next 12 hours and feeling like you’re facing an impossible climb. Try thinking of your shift in 3- or 4-hour blocks. Each block is an accomplishment in and of itself. See if you can squeeze in one of these refreshers in towards the end of each time block.
Blot Away The Oil
There’s a small group of people out there that can have perfect, oil-free skin all day. I’m not one of them. If you feel like the hospital lights are reflecting off of your shiny skin like beacons, try carrying some oil-blotting tissues with you. They’re compact and can fit easily in your purse or scrub pocket. Dab one on all of your oily spots and you’ll look and feel as fresh as a daisy.
Take A 7th Inning Stretch
Stretching brings the focus back to the body, where a buildup of work tension can settle in without you even noticing. Try relaxing your shoulders and rolling your head from side to side, or do a gentle back twist while seated and hold it for a few seconds. Releasing that tension will feel wonderful and help you redirect that energy somewhere useful — like getting through that last few hours.
How do you refresh at work? What helps you get through a long shift?