Happy National Foot Awareness month, dear nurses!
Nurses tend to work long shifts. In most cases, one shift can last for 12 long hours. In essence, that means walking, standing and running for 36 hours each week and 144 hours in a month. For your feet, these numbers can easily sound like torture.
What to do?
Whether you are looking for ways to soothe your tired feet or you just want to experience some pampering, here are some of the best tips for your feet that won’t break the bank.
1Soak your feet in Epsom salts
An Epsom salt foot bath might not sound like the best pampering idea, but wait until you get to dip your feet in it.
What happens is, when Epsom salt gets in contact with water, it breaks down into magnesium and sulfate.
Magnesium, along with the warm water, can relieve the pain and inflammation from your tired feet. Sulfate, on the other hand, works to draw out the excess fluid, waste products, as well as the lactic acid that are making your feet painful.
And aside from relieving muscle aches and pain, Epsom salt also has anti-fungal properties. Say goodbye to bad odors from your feet — in case that’s your problem, too.
Here’s how to do a DIY lavender foot soak.
Take out a foot basin and fill it up with warm water. It should be high enough to reach your ankles. Add 1 cup of Epsom salt and add around 6 drops of lavender oil. Soak your feet in the mixture for 15 minutes.
See Also: 9 Natural Remedies for Nurses’ Feet Pain
2Do yoga for feet
Hitting your couch or bed might be very tempting when you have tired feet, but doing a bit of yoga can offer you more relief. It can help relieve your pain and strengthen your feet muscles too!
There are several poses you can do for your tired feet. Here are the most effective ones:
Lie down on the floor with your hips at the edge of the wall. Lift your legs and feet up while keeping your elbows and arms resting on your side. Your kneecaps shouldn’t be locked and there must be no discomfort at your back. Maintain the position for 5 minutes or longer.
This pose can help drain the lymphatic fluids from your lower extremities, particularly your feet and ankles. It also helps boost blood circulation in your upper body which may have been compromised from standing for long hours.
Downward-Facing Dog Pose
From the Downward Dog position, slowly stretch your calves, back of the thighs and legs. With one of your knees bent, straighten the other one allowing the heel to touch the ground. Stay in this position for a whole minute.
This pose can give your lower extremities the stretching they need without putting too much pressure on your body.
Bring your two feet together and press your heels firmly. Spread your legs as wide as you can. As an extra step, use your thumbs to massage the soles of your feet and knead your toes. Hold the position for around 10 breaths.
The position helps stretch the groin, knees, and inner thighs. It also helps soothe the feet after wearing improperly fitted shoes.
See Also: Best Shoes For Nurses
Begin by sitting up tall, with your legs held out straight in front. Your hands must be placed by your hips with your fingers all stretched out. Start flexing and pointing your feet alternately. You can also circle your feet around to stretch the muscles out.
It stretches and activates the muscles of the legs. If you have sciatica, this is a good pose to relieve the associated pain.
See Also: Nurse Health: Yoga For the Mind (With Poses)
3Learn how to do self-massages
Getting a massage is one of the best ways to soothe those tired, aching feet. Unfortunately, it can get pretty expensive.
As an alternative, you can try learning how to perform a foot massage on yourself. Don’t worry; it’s really easy.
Just follow these steps:
1. Begin by massaging the pressure points on the soles of your feet. You can go as deep as you can.
2. Next, determine the painful points. You won’t need any guide as to where they are. You’d know the right spots as they’d feel tender and sore.
3. Give the arch of your foot a good rub. Start at the heel moving towards the ball of your foot.
4. Bend your toes to their full range of motion. Stretch them out as wide as you can.
5. Grab each toe and pull them.
6. Squeeze your heel as well as the top of your foot.
Here’s a popular video you can check out too. Just pretend the violins do not exist.
If you feel like you don’t have the time or the energy to perform these steps after a crazy shift, you should invest on your own foot massager. Your choice doesn’t have to be expensive and you can even get one for less than 20 bucks, but you have to make sure that it can get the job done.
4Get a pedicure
Getting a pedicure is very relaxing. There, you can get all the pampering you’ll need for your feet. You’ll get a soak, massage and- well- pedicure.
Cutting, clipping and cleaning your nails aren’t only helpful in preventing ingrown nails, but they are also a great help in preventing infections and pain. They can also help eliminate foot odors which you can easily develop from wearing your shoes for a long period of time.
Don’t forget. Good feet and nail care isn’t just for women. Men can also visit their local salon for a pedicure.
5Do a foot spa at home
Get a basin filled with warm water and gently cleanse your feet. Pay attention to the spaces in between your toes. You can also use an exfoliant, either a pumice stone or a salt-based foot scrub, to get rid of the dry patches on your feet. Make sure you scrub gently to avoid causing injury.
Once you are done, dry your feet completely. Apply a rich moisturizer after and wear a pair of clean, cotton socks on top overnight. You should wake up to well moisturized and happy feet the morning after.
We love you guys so check out this handy guide on sugar scrubs.
See Also: 3 Easy Must-Try Home Spa Ideas For Every Nurse