Self-Care as a Student Nurse

#HelloMyNameIs Tia and I’m a second year Child Nursing student.

Nurses are amazing at looking after others but when it comes to looking after ourselves it is an area that we can often struggle in. However, it is true that you can’t care for others until you care for yourself. Therefore it is important to make sure you take time for yourself and indulge in ‘self care’.

As a student nurse, it can sometimes feel impossible to take care of yourself or have time to do the things you love. This can be increasingly difficult during placement, as like many others I often feel I can’t get into a normal routine due to forever changing shift patterns and it feels the easiest option after a shift is to go straight to bed. However it is important to even put 5 minutes a day aside to do something you enjoy or something to help you relax and unwind after a long shift.

You might find some modules or placements more difficult than others and this can feel quite disheartening, however its completely normal to feel this way, everyone has something that might have affected them personally just as everyone will enjoy certain placements more than others and naturally feel like they did better in these. It’s a completely normal part of doing a nursing degree  and all your feelings and emotions are valid, and it might help you realise or give you an idea of what area you want to work in when you qualify.

Self care comes in lots of different forms for each individual, however it can be as simple as putting on a face mask and having a bath, or going for a walk. For others it might simply be having a shower or making sure they eat well during the day and try to stick to a routine. Self care is whatever you do to focus on you and will benefit your well-being.

Some like myself find it beneficial at the end of the day to look back and think of one thing they’ve enjoyed/learnt or something positive from the day. It’s also important to reflect on something that might not have made your day enjoyable or had a negative impact on your mood to acknowledge it and enable you to move on and start a fresh the next day. If something happens in placement you don’t feel happy with, talk to your mentor, another member of staff or contact your PLT, don’t take it home with you to worry about at the end of the day.

It’s also vital that if you’re struggling with your workload or feeling stressed or down during placement or lectures  that you reach out to your PLT or Personal Tutor. If you study at Surrey, we also have the Centre for Wellbeing on campus, or online platform BigWhiteWall to access if we need support.

But most importantly remember to have fun, still do the things you enjoy and acknowledge that being a student nurse isn’t easy and it’s okay to take time out for yourself and solely focus on you.

Author: Tia Dolphin, Year 2 Student

Useful Links

Big White Wall:

University of Surrey Centre for Wellbeing:


Student Minds:

NHS Moodzone:

Disclaimer: This blog contains personal opinions of students only and does not necessarily represent the views of the Children’s Nursing team, School of Health Sciences or the University of Surrey.

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