Certified nursing assistants, or CNAs, spend almost all of their time caring for other people. But how much do they care for themselves? If you're a CNA, you probably know how difficult it is to find enough time to keep yourself in good condition. But if you don't take care of yourself, you might get stressed out and unhappy—or worse, unhealthy and sick. There are many things you can do to keep yourself healthy.
First of all, make sure that you drink enough water. Dehydration can make you tired, cause trouble focusing, and give you headaches. You should be drinking at least 48 ounces of water every day, and possibly more depending on your body type and routine.
Next, make sure that you eat healthy. Get enough fruits and vegetables, and watch for foods that are high in nutrients like fiber and protein. Avoid sugars and fats, and don’t overeat. Eat a balanced diet that helps you feel good.
Plenty of Sleep
Be sure that you get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can lead to weight gain, an inability to focus, and depression, not to mention tiredness. Most people need about eight hours a night, but some need more. Be sure that you are making time for yourself to get a good rest.
Proper Foot Care
CNAs can be on their feet all the time, so foot care is important. Make sure that you have comfortable shoes that don’t pinch your feet or give you blisters. It also might be a good idea to keep the circulation flowing to your feet. Massage them and change position regularly when standing or sitting.
Standing for long periods can also hurt your back. Applying heat or coolness to your back can keep it from getting sore; ibuprofen can also help. Get enough exercise and maintain good posture to help keep it stretched out. Be careful when lifting heavy objects so that you don’t hurt yourself.
Finally, stress can be a huge problem for CNAs. Not only does it make you feel awful, but it can also hurt your immune system and lead to other health problems. Make time for yourself to do something that relaxes you—read, exercise, or meditate. If you start to feel overwhelmed, take a couple of deep breaths while thinking of something that makes you happy. Good relationships with other people can also help you to feel less stressed; spending time with family and friends is a good idea.
Being a CNA can be tough sometimes, but good personal care can help you feel your best. With these tips, you can take care of yourself and then take care of others.