As we all know, nursing can be a stressful profession, and so we forget about wellness most of the time. Every day, nurses must deal with the different personalities of patients, colleagues, or the patient's significant others; difficult situations such as emergencies, life and death; and disease processes. Just reading this sentence made me feel stressed and overwhelmed.
How do nurses cope? I have learned that a very important point is to be “selfish”! Now please look at this word in a positive way. I want to say that we must take care of ourselves and then we are able to care for others. What things can we do for ourselves to promote wellness?
Take the time to enjoy yourself on your time off. What do you enjoy doing? Do you enjoy hiking, skiing, biking, walking your dog, working out, reading, movies, plays, playing with your children or grandchildren, swimming, dancing, art, jewelry making or other hobbies or activities?
Schedule activities for yourself just like you do your work. You deserve it!
Practice positive communication.
Do this in your thoughts and in your verbal and written correspondence. When you frame sentences in a positive way, it will have amazing results in how you feel and even in outcomes.
A client of mine says that whenever she is running late to an appointment, she now says to herself that she is going to be there on time, safely, and even have a few minutes to spare. She tells me she is early most of the time.
Laugh on purpose.
Find the funny things in life. Just last night a friend of mine started laughing because I had a piece of popcorn in my hair. I laughed along with her.
You can also watch funny programs or do fun activities that promote laughter. We can make our own circus.
Enjoy every moment and live in the present.
This means focusing on the here and now. Forget about worrying about the future, because worrying is actually focusing on what you don’t want to happen.
Focus on what you do want to happen, whether in your personal life or in the nursing profession. You can talk, visualize, make a collage, or write in your journal about what you want in your life. You can also read books about people who have done what you want in your life. This makes it more real for you.
Tell yourself that amazing things happen every day and they can happen to you.
When you know that it can happen for someone else, then you know that it is possible. I received a free cup of coffee, a free doggie wash, a free lunch and a free 2 hour CEU class just last week. I am abundant, I say to myself, and I know more will continue to happen.
Celebrate little things.
We must celebrate for ourselves. It is fun. It brings laughter and a smile. Keep a journal of all the wonderful things that are happening in your life and then when you need to, you can go back and read and remember all the fun things that happened and will continue to happen.
You can have a new motto in nursing wellness, "I am Abundant!" I celebrate this every day. People around you will then notice how much fun you are to be around. They will tell you that they like being around you.
When you smile more, others will smile more, too.
Do you have other tips for promoting wellness in the nursing profession? Share them with us in the comments below.