by Paula Manuel Staff Nurse Interest Group

As Nursing Week is almost here it’s as good a time as any to reflect on your own state of health, as a nurse you are vulnerable to caring for others and excluding yourself from much needed health management.  The aim of caring for ourselves taking “me time” is not selfish behaviour indeed it is necessary behaviour; it does takes practice to reconnect, focus, organize, energize–well actually just do it.

The to do list to achieve and sustain wellness, and for that matter be the person you would like to work with, live with, play with, love with, can take on overwhelming dimensions. Gaining healthy habits does require clarity, desire to change, and you need margins for lapses because it’s not about attaining perfection.  There are so many avenues to gain information on health whether physical, emotional, financial, spiritual, and it means you also need to be an astute evaluator of information sources, wise who you will listen to, and open to new ideas and yet value common sense.  The desire to change and translating that into action means constructing a plan indeed your very own care plan, and as the nursing process lays out when you have assessed yourself (honesty is a good value to apply to yourself), decided on the priorities, defined the goals, set down the action plan, you    implement and of course evaluate.

What am I talking about?

Well in terms of being resilient what concrete tasks/to dos could be considered and acted on?

Obtain adequate sleep, it is a basic need and the impact of insufficient sleep cascades into any number of negative outcomes–fatigue, cognitive impairment, depression, hypertension, obesity, stroke, cardiovascular disease, the very quality of your life.

  • Here’s a starting point no electronics in the bedroom, only exception a music source but only to play music–when you listen to music it can inspire you, motivate you, in this case we’re seeking calm and relaxation (the lullaby effect).

What attitude are you exhibiting at work or even in your household?

The energy you send out positive or negative is what you will receive back. Consider this

  • Practice compassion for everyone you come in contact with; smile, make eye contact, be wholly present (not thinking of your next task), learn and apply what empathy is about and make it a strength.
  • Don’t judge–clarify with others what their motivations are and/or mindset about about the situation, be careful what stories you create in your mind that prevents you from truly knowing the others’ reality.
  • Seek out learning opportunities, embrace learning opportunities (instead of approaching it like a root canal), be change savvy instead of change resistant.
  • Share your knowledge, appreciate the lessons you have learned, share your wisdom through stories. Celebrate that you have survived through challenges, adversity, and loss in the same way you have had successes, exhilaration, and meaningful moments.  I have celebrated first smiles, first tooth, first walks, graduations and commiserated when divorces, death, and other significant losses were shared.

Life is such a privilege, lifestyle can be altered/influenced by your attitude, through mindfulness and if necessary with the assistance of professionals.  Life is not about having it easy, indeed for many of us having a higher purpose means a life that shows the effects of overcoming whatever life throws us. It could be the traffic woes when we drive to work, it could be crop failure for our family, it could be a raging fire overtaking where we live, it could be a prognosis that may well shorten a life. Write your own mission statement and commit to it, transform your life, connect to passion and if that includes your nursing aspect of your soul–well you are on your way to be the nurse you want to work with.

Namaste

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by Paula Manuel Staff Nurse Interest Group

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