Let’s be honest—if anyone deserves some pampering time, it’s nurses. Between 12-hour shifts, hit-or-miss lunch breaks and a steady stream of patients, simply sitting down sometimes feels like a treat. Upgrade your “me time” off the clock with these five ideas guaranteed to leave you feeling refreshed.
1. Make that rare massage count. This is number one on our list for a reason. A massage is a surefire way reduce stress and leave you feeling euphoric. However, we know they’re not easy to come by. So—capitalize on massage (or massages) you can sneak into your schedule by being highly communicative with your therapist. Show them where you are experiencing any pain, making sure that they are aware of your daily work motions. The more they know, the more they can focus in on priority pain points. This way, you can reap the fruits of their labor long after you come down from cloud nine.
You’re so busy healing other people; it’s time to let other people heal you!
2. Be picky about your pedicure. You’re on your feet all day, so we know those toes could use some serious T.L.C. However, pedicures are supposed to be an all-around restorative experience, so don’t schedule your session when don’t have the time to sit back, relax and enjoy the pampering.
Luckily, nail shops have taken over almost every corner, so you won’t have to travel far and when it’s time to decompress.
3. Call an old friend. Human beings are social and require connection and communication to thrive. Call up an old friend and reminisce about a good memory, or simply vent about your day. If they’re an extra good friend, they’ll let you do both!
Now, here’s the twist: Always end the conversation on a positive note—even if it’s a real exercise for the imagination. Just like they say “never go to bed angry,” don’t hang up that phone until you’ve had at least one good laugh—even if that means being more selective about who you call.
4. Invest in an acupressure mat. Help your body bounce back on the double when your catching up on a little R&R. These acupressure mats are inexpensive and only require 20 minutes of your time. The benefits? They can help relieve muscle tension, aid in digestion and boost the quality of your sleep with regular use.
Offering your upper or lower back some tender love and care? Drape a cold washcloth over your eyes to help center your thoughts and soothe any lingering headaches.
5. Take your tea in solitude. Tea has been used as a stress reducer in many cultures for centuries, which is no surprise since the aroma alone can calm you. Reach for a chamomile or lavender blend, then find a place to cozy up and indulge in some age-old healing.
Unless you’re really itching for some social interaction, take refuge in a favorite spot free of technology, chatty Cathys and distraction to simply reflect—no need for your musings to be work-related, just uninterrupted.
Finally, in the great words of Parks and Recreation‘s Donna Meagle: