7 wellness activities to promote nurse self-care

Over 80 percent of nurse respondents said they suffered from significant stress, according to an American Nurses Association survey. Nurses often work overtime and skip breaks, in part due to nationwide nursing shortages, and they may forget to take care of themselves in the process.

To combat the problem, some employers are implementing worksite wellness programs, which have been shown to increase nurses' job satisfaction and retention, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Seven wellness activities to boost nurses' well-being:

1. Walking challenges.

New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based Northwell Health started an eight-week challenge, "Walk the Wonders," in which participants travelled virtually to all the Wonders of the World. Seventy-one percent said the activity helped them lose stress, and 27 percent lost weight.

2. Stress and burnout intervention.

The Cleveland Clinic started "Code Lavender" to address stress and burnout. The program's holistic care nurses offer healthy snacks, massages and other services to nurses and physicians.

3. Creating an employee cookbook.

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in New York City provided employees with a cookbook of healthy recipes from the hospital's dietitians and chefs.

4. Community events such as healthy heart walks and dance-a-thons.

5. Rewards programs for employees who take simple health steps.

A New Jersey health system rewarded employees for obtaining their biometric data, filling out an online assessment for health risks and visiting a physician at least once a year. The health system offered health coaching for employees with concerning results.

6. Gratitude challenges.

Employers could ask nurses to write down three things they are grateful for every day for a certain number of weeks.

7. On-site classes on wellness topics such as sleep and healthy meals.

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