Empower the Nurse Within
By Elizabeth Scala
These days the new catch phrase is ‘self-care’. We hear it all of the time; what are you doing to take care of yourself? How are you making your own health a priority? When do you exercise? Eat right? Meditate?
It can get a bit overwhelming, even exhausting at times.
As nurses we ‘know’ what we ought to be doing to take care of ourselves. Heck, we teach it to our patients all of the time. So how come we keep being told to take better care of ourselves?
Better yet, how come it’s so hard to do?
It all boils down to one thing: time. We just don’t have time for self-care. Not only in our personal lives, but professionally as well.
Who has time for a lunch break these days? When was the last time you actually got off of the unit for a break? Being pulled from here-to-there, charting all day long and making sure you follow policy and procedure can get a bit time-consuming.
So what’s a nurse to do?
Well, what I’ve found to be the most helpful is to go with the flow. Travel downstream instead of up. Yes, there is going to be stress in nursing, but how can we learn to handle it and actually thrive through it?
It’s all about tapping into the nurse within.
Here are 3 ways that you can empower your inner nurse so that you can feel the pride, joy and love for your role again:
- Stay Present. Worrying about what’s to come at work or stressing out over what didn’t get done brings no joy to the job. You’re stuck thinking about things that you have no control over. When we feel out of control; we feel powerless. By staying focused on the here-and-now you empower yourself to choose the flow of your day. You literally invite more time and productivity just by being present.
- Emotions are Clues. If you don’t like what’s going on around you, your emotions sure are going to let you know. A co-worker upset you? You may feel angry. The boss said something you didn’t like. You may feel resentment. It’s as simple as checking in with your emotions on a moment-by-moment basis. What you want to do then is, any time you feel a negative emotion, stop. In that moment focus on what you do want instead of what you don’t and watch the magic happen. Moving towards what you want instead of away from what you don’t want can help you find the purpose and passion in your work.
- Focus On Gratitude. Let go of what no longer serves you. Holding onto tension and stress is actually harmful to the physical body. If you want more fun, joy and energy in your life then focus on the good. What we focus on we get more of. When we give something attention, it grows. Focus on all of the good in your nursing career and the bad stuff will slowly start to disappear.
Spiritual Practice Nurse Elizabeth Scala is on a mission to shift the profession of nursing from the inside out. Individuals typically enter their careers with a desire to provide compassionate, heart-based care. Challenged by regulations, financial pressures and technological advancements, todays nurse struggles to balance the art with the science of nursing. As a speaker, author, workshop facilitator and retreat leader, Elizabeth inspires nursing teams to reconnect with the passionate and fulfilling joy that once called them to their roles. Elizabeth is also a certified coach and Reiki Master Teacher. She lives in Maryland with her supportive husband and two playfully, silly pit bull dogs. When Elizabeth’s not speaking to or teaching other nurses you can find her enjoying nature, relaxing on the beach, doing Yoga or dancing to her favorite jam band, moe. http://elizabethscala.com; Back to the Basics: A Nurse’s Pocket Guide to Self-Care