A nurse friend of mine recently shared how she was feeling about working during this time of COVID to her Facebook friends and family. Her fiancé had planned a wonderful getaway for her to decompress from the stress she had been experiencing. I was thrilled for her mini vacation and was happy she had an amazing fiancé who was so in tuned to her needs.
I continued to read her post about how excited she was to getaway from the rest of the world but she then began to share her personal emotions, her concerns for her work family, and for all those around her. She felt guilty for being able to getaway and her work family still being at the front lines working with their patients. She was worried she might put others at risk by taking this mini vacation (which by the way she would be secluded from others and practicing social distancing). I empathized with her as I read her post. This post is for her and all those in her same position. You deserve a mental break and a place of serenity. You must first care for yourself so you may continue to care for others.
Before I share some tips on caring for your well-being I want to provide a little more insight on my friend. This amazing woman is intelligent, beautiful, very enjoyable to be around, her smile lights up the room, her confidence is encouraging to others, and her positive energy is unmatched. I shall not disclose who she is for her privacy. I will say to her: years have come and gone but no matter what, you will always be considered my friend; I pray one day we will get to travel together again even if we are old and gray.
To all the nurses near and far thank you for everything thing that you do. From nursing those who become sick back to healthier states — to providing comfort to those taking their last breathe and consoling their families and loved ones left behind; you are phenomenal.
Well-being tips for nurses. Acknowledging to yourself that you are under insurmountable stress daily especially during peaks of illness spiking is key to healing. Note to yourself and highlight it, that you are NOT alone. Push negative thoughts aside and focus on the positives. When you find it hard to not focus on the negatives reach out to a friend or family member. If you choose not to involve family or friends reach out to professional counselor, therapist, an e-coach, or if your employer provides an on-site counselor or social worker talk to them. Do not continue fighting those thoughts, feelings, and emotions alone. We all need somebody at some point in our personal life and professional life. Admitting to yourself you need to talk or you need a mental break does not make you weak or any less capable to perform your duties; if anything it makes you stronger.
If you do not want to jump into a chair and share what is going with another human being just yet then take that mini vacation. Go to the river, lake, state park, or mountains. Find a quite place to think about nothing. Take time to yourself to release the stress, whether it is through mediation, yoga, boxing it out, running, hiking, swimming, walking along a trail through the woods, talking to your dog, or bawling your eyes out, Go For It! Do what you need to do to heal and find balance in your mind; balance your psyche.
NEVER feel guilty for trying to heal yourself. NEVER feel guilty or weak for needing to ask for help. You are human too. You are just as important as those surrounding you everyday. What you do everyday is amazing and I personally could never thank you enough. Be blessed each and everyday with a Positive Mindset and a Healthy Well-being.
Peace and Love, Laurel
P.S. Take a look at my post How to Reach a Positive Mindset for more details on how to nourish your mind and body.