Zen and the art of male nurse maintenance


male-nurse-meditatingThe cliché “Take time to stop and smell the roses” has never been more applicable than it is today. With cell phones, pagers, email and text messaging, it seems like we always have to talk to somebody about something.
When does it stop? Do you set aside time for yourself everyday? Do you ever stop for five minutes to just relax and take a deep breath? In other words, how do you become a better caregiver to yourself?

How stressed are you? Are you suffering from “compassion fatigue“? When we care for ourselves, it helps us cope more easily with all the external stressors that confront us. Everyone has something they like to do. It may be working out, going for a walk, sitting in meditation, reading or just going to a quiet place to be alone with their thoughts.

I started studying the Chinese martial arts a little more than four years ago, and I have to say that my time there has helped me to find “me.” At first, it was just something to get into better shape. After a while, the discipline of going to class—and pondering the movements and philosophies of the arts—led me into a deep study mode of everything I was learning. The more I found out about the arts, the more I found out about myself. This gave me a great sense of ease. I soon found that the more I applied the principles I learned in kung fu class, the easier the rest of my life became.

Finding time for yourself is very important in maintaining a sense of balance in your daily life. It doesn’t matter what your self-care activity is—just set a specific time and “do your thing” every day that allows you to “let go” for a little while. Then…thank yourself. After all, who can take better care of you than you?

Jim DeMaria
James DeMaria, RN, BSN, is Vice President of Renal Care Registered Nursing Services, located in Nanuet, N.Y. Founded in 1991, Renal Care Registered Nursing Services provides acute kidney dialysis services to some of the northeast’s largest hospitals and caregiving facilities. While having had no formal business training, James has excelled as an entrepreneur, a role he must balance with his responsibility as a nurse, husband and father, and is always on call, explaining, “You never work harder than you do for yourself.” He is also cohost of “Nurse's Station,” a new audio podcast by and for nurses.

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