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The one thing this tense nurse really needed

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SO…. I just got back from vacation. It was a great chance to get to unwind and detach from all the craziness of life. Now that the NCLEX is over, I can have my life back, at least for the next month and a half before my new grad residency starts. But in the meantime, I am taking advantage of the time off that I do have to get in all the vacationing and relaxation that I can!

One of my favorite parts of this cruise was the 75 minutes of pure bliss I took in at the spa. We’d been eyeing the rates all week, and finally on the last day, they were reasonable enough to book a session. Back massage, scalp massage, foot and ankle massage, and  – my favorite – a facial. Phew! It was amazing. Every time I go for a massage (you know, all 3 times…) I think, “I need to do this more often.” Although here in LA a good massage is a bit on the pricier side of things, it’s totally worth it for the complete relaxation that follows, especially as a nurse.

She spent a good portion of the appointment on my back, which according to her was “extremely tense.” I felt like saying, yeah, you try going through nursing school, planning the pinning ceremony and studying for the biggest test of your life for a whole month all while working as a CNA! But I figured she got the point enough as she worked the knots in my back. And while the massage ended with her recommendations for muscle relaxing serum that I kindly declined, as the start of my residency approaches, I’m thinking I might look it up on line and invest – after all, I need my back in tip top shape!

I don’t have to talk about how much we use our bodies every day – you all know – you can feel it! There’s really no way around it. You can use the ergonomic tips and by the best shoes, but you’ll still feel it. This last massage completely sold me on it, and I’m ready to go back. Not only is it physically relaxing, but the atmosphere, and the physical touch, is enough to send your brain off to la-la-land for a much needed break.  So whether you are on vacation, or just around town, when you have a few hours (and dollars – ha!) to spare, book yourself a massage – your body and your brain will thank you!

Seasoned nurses, help this new nurse: What do you do when you’re feeling tense but don’t have the time or extra cash for a massage?

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Ani Burr, RN

I'm a brand new, full-fledged, fresh-out-of-school RN! And better yet, I landed the job of my dreams working with children. I love what I do, and while everyday on the job is a new (and sometimes scary) experience, I'm taking it all in - absorbing everything I can about this amazing profession we all fell in love with.
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2 Responses to The one thing this tense nurse really needed

  1. Halie Rosenberg

    Ani, have you tried Thai massage? I always check out places on yelp before I go but you can get awesome massages for $40 an hour in LA!

  2. MeganRN

    When my back is tense and I feel stressed out, I find yoga to be much more helpful than massage. I prefer gentle, restorative yoga classes. Look for Yin yoga classes in your area. Most poses are held for 3-5 minutes, and focus on back, hips, and hamstrings. Regular practice (1-2 classes a week) means I am in very little pain and much less stressed out. When I fall off the wagon and skip out for a couple weeks, my back and stress levels get bad.

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