By Jeff Bellinghausen, a health and fitness fanatic and founder of cnanursing.net, a resource for aspiring nurses.
You’re running from patient to patient, it’s a typical busy day on the ward. Suddenly, that little niggly headache pain comes across you. You take a quick glance at the clock and it’s still two hours until your shift is complete. It’s going to be a loooong two hours.
Sound familiar? It’s highly likely that the little niggle you feel is a direct result of not having taken enough water on board.
The absolute fact is that nursing staff, many of whom juggle shift work (and busy shifts at that!), family and other life commitments. Because of the constant rush, maintaining adequate water consumption throughout the day can be a struggle.
To help you get through your next stretch of shifts, minus the niggle in the head, here are 5 ways to ensure you are adequately hydrated throughout the day!
This is not a drink more water lecture.
Yes, you’ve heard it before and of course you know that water is essential for maintaining normal bodily function. You’re a nurse so you don’t need a lecture on the way the human body works!
Let’s look at a simple tactics for getting enough water on board during the day.
How to Ensure you Drink Enough Water
- Get ahead early: Make drinking a full glass of water immediately in the morning a priority. Do you make a coffee early on? While the pot is boiling or the coffee machine is making that all-important morning coffee, drink a cup of water. This puts you on the right track early.
- Make meal time drink time: Apply the same principal to the beginning of meals. Let’s say you have a morning snack and then lunch, by simply consuming a glass of water before you start to eat, or at the very least, whilst you eat will give you another two cups on board before lunch.
- Give yourself a visual: In addition to your pre-coffee and pre-meal water consumption, giving yourself a visual reminder to drink is a great way to keep it top of mind so carry a drink container with you throughout the day. Having it with you in your vehicle will give you a constant reminder to sip away and taking it into work with you provides the same reminder. If you give yourself a goal to consume the contents of the water container prior to dinner, you are well on your way to enough water consumption!
- Finish up early: Of course, you don’t want to be getting up throughout the night so the last thing you want to happen is having to constantly head to the bathroom! Setting yourself a goal to have your last major water consumption taking place during dinner will ensure that you get enough water during the day, along with enough sleep at night!
Reading is one thing, doing is another. Make yourself a diary note to try one or more of the tips above and enjoy the benefits of feeling fresher throughout the day!