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11 tips for nurses’ self-care success!

Top Photo Group | ThinkStock

Top Photo Group | ThinkStock

You know the old cliche (tiresome but true!): as a nurse who spends your time taking care of other people for a living, you might often forget to look out for number one.

But your health is important and you have to pay attention your own well-being. Luckily, you have the advice of those who have gone before you to help guide you through your journey. One great resource? Our Scrubs Blog Carnival!

Living Sublime Wellness recently featured a fantastic roundup of wisdom especially for nurses needing a pep talk about their health. Check it out below:

WOW. Just when I thought that all of my self-care efforts, talk, and passion was falling on dead ears–this group of nurse bloggers TOTALLY lifted my spirits!

You see, as a nurse coach who’s focused on health and wellness, I do a LOT in the way of nurses’ well-being. Writing posts on blogs like this and others; giving talks both in-person and online; and sharing tools, tips, and resources about self-care for the busy nurse is how I love to spend my time.

But lately, I had been questioning my entire process. “Where are the nurses? Does anyone care about taking care of themselves? How come we (the nursing profession) don’t value our health?” I guess you could say I was getting a bit frustrated.

However, this project and AWESOME group of nurse writers has totally re-energized me, lifted my spirits, and reminded me of why I am so passionate about nurse health.

So without further ado, I give you…the healthy behaviors and practices for nurses!

Two posts reminded me of the where and why we may lack self-care. Erica, who’s also known as the Self Employed Nurse, points out in her post How Nurses Can Develop Healthy Habits that sometimes we’re just not ready to change. She then shares three secrets to how journaling our goals can move us forward through success.

The other is written by my friend and colleague, Keith. He too, as a nurse coach, has shared with me his thoughts, frustrations, and challenges with getting nurses healthy. I love his article on Digital Doorway, Healthy Nurses and the Self-Care Bandwagon, that articulates it’s not just us (nurses) who see ourselves as unhealthy! Others in society do too. And then Keith lovingly challenges us all to get on the self-care train!

Not sure how to jump aboard? Here’s some practical tools to get you going:

Starting with our feet. Yes, being a nurse, many of us know what it’s like to be on our feet ALL day long… Jennifer over at RNEvolution gives you 5 awesome ways to love up your feet some more in Healthy Behaviors for RNs Start at the Bottom: Care for Your Feet. She even gives us permission to go out there and treat ourselves to a pedicure! Awesome!!

Another one for the body? Brittney, who’s also known as the Nerdy Nurse, shares a guest blog post (written by yours truly, thank you Brittney!) on how Exercise and Activity Energizes the Busy Nurse. There are two easy and quick tips that you can do without any extra effort!

Which takes us over to a really neat video from Caroline with EmpoweRN. While exercise is one way to boost your energy level, her video Be an Energetic Nurse and Nursing Student highlights some healthy treats you can pack with you and bring on-the-go for a quick and healthy lunch! You gotta love how she shows us the actual foods in the video!

And what better way to balance out all of this movement and energy than with some secrets to proper rest? Joyce points out 10 Tips to Catch Better ZZZ’s as a Night Shift Nurse. Now I know the title says “Night Shift,” but if you’re a busy nurse like me, any ideas to get better rest are well-received!

OK, so we’ve touched on the physical body, but being that I am a holistic nurse, I was thrilled to receive some guest articles about the mental, emotional, and even spiritual aspects of well-being.

Jerome, over at Minding the Bedside, articulates the importance of why every nurse needs to meditate. In his post Nurses Need to Meditate! Eight Reasons Why and How to Do It, gives simple yet powerful examples for how this practice can impact our own practice!

I LOVED how Kathy gently nudged us all to be loving to ourselves. In her post Nurses Be Kind to Yourself, she points out how organization, prioritization, and reward are all significant factors that play a role in well-being.

Finally, one of my favorites, Lorie from Empowered Nurses reminds us It’s OK to Say No. What I enjoyed the most? Real-life examples of sobering cases where saying “Yes” when it should have been “No” cost the nurse a job.

WOW. And if you still don’t have an idea and none of these awesome tips resonated with you, I’ve got two more! The final two posts really sum up the mind-body-spirit connection of putting self-care first for total well-being.

Scrubs Magazine gifts us with Realistic Ways for Nurses to Keep their Health, highlighting that staying healthy is much simpler than we make it!

NurseJournal.org wraps it all up in A Nurse’s Health: the Gift that Keeps on Giving. Thank you Brittney, for reminding us that the reason we ought to be taking care of ourselves is simple: so we can take the best care of others.

This post is a collective effort of nurse bloggers as part of the Scrubs Mag Blog Carnival. If you are interested in participating, find out more details and sign up here.

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Elizabeth Scala

Spiritual Practice Nurse Elizabeth Scala is on a mission to transform the profession of nursing from the inside out. Individuals typically enter nursing with a desire to provide compassionate, heart-based care. Challenged by regulations, financial pressures and technological advancements, today’s nurse struggles to balance the art with the science of nursing. As a speaker, trainer, facilitator and author, Elizabeth inspires nursing teams to reconnect with the passionate and fulfilling joy that once called them to their career. http://elizabethscala.com/; Back to the Basics: A Nurse's Pocket Guide to Self-Care
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