As a student, trying to juggle your coursework, social life, and family commitments can be tough.
While the main role of a nurse is to look after and care for patients, it’s important that you put yourself first to ensure you’re up to the job and in the best frame of mind.
To get the most out of your degree, keeping fit and active is key, so here are several tips on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle while studying for your MSN nursing degree.
Cut Back on Other Commitments
If you’re able to, it’s best to cut back on how many hours you work, as well as any other major commitments in your life. For those serious about going into nursing, it’s important that you put your full concentration and focus into your studies, otherwise, you may not come out with the grades you anticipated.
Creating a study schedule can be a great way to add structure to your routine, giving you more time to get stuck into your studies.
Follow a Balanced Diet
It goes without saying, we are what we eat, so if you’re the type of person who’s prone to gorging on processed foods, it’s likely that it won’t be doing much good for your physical and mental health.
As a nursing student, it’s important that you factor in plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet. There are other foods that you should include too, such as:
- Lean meats and poultry
- Reduced-fat cheese
Fueling your body with the right foods can make a huge difference to your overall wellbeing, helping you to stay focused on your degree.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Whether you’re studying for your MSN nursing degree in person or online, it’s crucial that you get plenty of sleep each night. The last thing you want is to wake up feeling low and run down, so if you’re the type of student who’s struggling to stay awake, it’s time to act. There are various things that you can do which can help you get plenty of sleep, such as:
- Sticking to a sleep schedule
- Practicing a relaxing bedtime ritual
- Regular exercise
- Sleep on a comfortable mattress
Practice Relaxation Techniques
Another great way to keep yourself healthy throughout your MSN nursing degree is by practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing. If things get too much, your mind can become filled with negative thoughts, so make sure that you take some time to zone out from your studies.
Many students also find yoga to be hugely beneficial, helping to clear their minds and get them back into the mode of learning.
Avoid Excess Caffeine
With mountains of coursework to sift through, many nursing students stay up through the night to get things done. However, when it comes to getting to sleep, they may have more difficulty, especially if they consume tons of caffeine.
If you can’t live without your cup of joe, it’s best to stick to coffee in the morning, rather than consuming it throughout the day.
Reach Out to Friends and Family
It’s inevitable that there will be highs and lows throughout your MSN nursing degree, so if you come up against any barriers along the way, having a good support network behind you can help push you in the right direction.
Your friends and family are there to love and support you, so don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. Knowing that there are people there as a shoulder to cry on when things get tough can help keep you focused and motivated.
Factor in Breaks
If you’re the type of student that likes to get things done quickly, make sure to incorporate plenty of breaks in between learning too. If you take on too much, your brain can go into overdrive and cause anxiety, so having regular breaks can bring tons of benefits, such as:
- Helping you to process and retain information
- Helping you be more creative
- Cultivate healthier habits
- Helps you be more productive
As a student, you need to have some fun along the way, otherwise, you may burn out quickly. Whether it’s by going to see a friend for coffee, taking up a hobby, or going for a walk around your local neighborhood, doing things that you love and enjoy can help make the studying experience that little bit easier.
It’s important that you factor in plenty of exercise into your day to day routine as a nursing student. Even if you’re currently working as a nurse, taking 30 minutes out of your day to do some exercise routines can help boost your physical and mental health. There are tons of benefits that go hand in hand with regular exercise, such as:
- Reducing your risk of a heart attack
- Managing your weight better
- Lowering blood pressure
- Have stronger bones, joints, and muscles
Pick the Right Degree
Most importantly, you need to pick a degree that matches your needs and keeps you focused and engaged. For example, Baylor University provides MSN nursing degrees that can equip you with the right skills, knowledge, and expertise to flourish in the nursing sector. For those that like to take charge and help others, an MSN nursing degree can teach you great leadership skills that you can utilize in the workplace effectively. There are various jobs that you can pursue once you’ve completed your MSN nursing degree, such as:
- Nursing consultant
- Nurse educator
- Nurse administrator
- Clinical nurse practitioner
- Advanced nurse practitioner
To get the most out of your MSN nursing degree, it’s important that you put your needs before others. While you may have a caring personality and want to do all that you can to help those in need, if you aren’t in the right frame of mind, it’s likely that you will be a hindrance to others, rather than a blessing. Following all the tips listed can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle while pursuing your degree.