NEWS
May 9, 2017

10 Self-Care Ideas For A Nurse's Day Off

When you’re a nurse with only one precious day off from your job, how can you make the most of your time? Maybe you have errands, appointments, and chores to take care of, but have you ever thought of turning a day off into a self-care mini vacation? 

Here are 10 ideas for a one-day self-care wellness adventure! 

1) Get some bodywork:

Hard-working nurses need some care for their aching bodies; have you ever scheduled a massage for your day off? 

You can book a session of deep tissue massage, relaxation massage, Reiki, craniosacral therapy, reflexology, or any other form of bodywork offered within driving distance of your home. 

There’s nothing like getting some hands on your body and giving your muscles some well-deserved relief! 

2) Pedicure, manicure, haircut, and a facial

You may not have time or money to take a long vacation, so what about booking four appointments in one day and fitting in a pedicure, manicure, haircut, and facial? 

This may seem over the top, but when you compare it to the price tag of a one-week vacation, it may seem downright affordable to treat yourself to an entire day of personalized attention. 

If you add in a nice lunch out, it could end up being a perfect day!

3) The silver screen:

Do you like movies? What if you spent the afternoon going to a double feature at your favorite movie theater? Maybe you even have an IMAX theater nearby. 

Maybe it’s a rainy day and you don’t want to stay home; grab lunch out (or pack a lunch and sneak it into the theater), take yourself to the movies, and lose yourself in the world of the silver screen. 

4) A day at the museum:

When you’re busy with work and your personal life, you probably never make it to your local museums, even if they’re world-class.  

Consider museum-hopping on your day off, and combine it with a meal or picnic to make it really special. 

Also consider art galleries; gallery-hopping can be fun -- and they’re free! 

5) The park beckons:

On a beautiful day, sometimes the only thing we want to do is go to the park. 

Pack a picnic, some magazines, a book, and a comfy blanket and pillows. Settle yourself down in a nice spot, watch the kids and dogs play, stare up into the trees, and doze off for a well-deserved nap. 

What could be more simple than a day at the park?

6) Shop til you drop:

They say when the going gets tough, the tough go shopping. Well, have you ever spent a day off shopping in your favorite stores? 

If there’s a nearby town that you often can’t get to, make a day of it, take yourself to lunch (lunch comes up a lot in this article, doesn’t it?), and enjoy a relaxing, guilt-free day of shopping. 

7) Volunteer:

Sometimes, volunteering makes us feel so good that we want to do it again and again. 

If you have a favorite local charity, maybe you’ll want to spend part of the day delivering lunches to shut-in elders, walking dogs at the shelter, or helping kids with homework in an after-school program.. 

8) Reading for pleasure:

If you spend a lot of time reading the latest evidence-based nursing research and journal articles, maybe you’d enjoy spending the day just reading for pleasure. 

Settle into your favorite cafe with a stack of magazines or a new novel, order a cappuccino, and lose yourself in reading just for fun. (You can also read in the park -- see #5!) 

9) Pajama party:

On your day off, there might be nothing more relaxing than staying in your pajamas all day, ordering takeout, watching daytime TV, taking a nap, and cuddling with your cat. Just remember -- no chores today! 

10) Choose your own adventure:

Nurses, you may have a totally different idea of what to do on your day off.

Do you have a friend with a houseboat you can spend the day on just for fun? Is there a “ghost tour” in your city that you’ve never checked out? Do you want to go to the local climbing gym for the first time? 

It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it makes you happy or brings you joy or relaxation.

Wash, rinse, repeat:

This is about turning it up to 11! If you do something that ends up being totally fun and a real success, maybe you can do it again. Who knows, you might have a movie or museum day every month as a way to take your mind off of your nursing job

Repeat what works, and always be open to new ideas for fun and relaxation. 

If you take us up on any of our suggestions or create a day off adventure of your own, please tweet us, tag us on Facebook, or email us at keith@nursemail.org. We’d love to hear how you spent your well-deserved day off from the world of nursing! 

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Keith Carlson, BSN, RN, NC-BC is a Board-Certified Nurse Coach, award-winning blogger, nurse podcaster, speaker, and author. Based in Sante Fe, New Mexico, Nurse Keith’s work has appeared in a variety of online and print publications.

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