Recharging your batteries as a nurse
Last three years have been such extraordinary times for all front line workers, especially the nurses. Exacerbated by the pandemic, nurses had to (and still do) work back-to-back assignments for the past three years with barely a moment to catch their breath. They are our super heroes and we appreciate very deeply how they always put their community ahead of their own needs. Even when you love your job and completely committed to giving your 150% to serving the patients, self-care often takes a backseat. We totally understand and respect that you put yourself at the bottom of your priority list and resist to take a break to recharge your body, mind, and soul and even thinking you are invincible. But as much as you are a hero, you are made of flesh and blood too. However recognizing when your depleted battery needs to be recharged will not only make you do a better job but also key to maintain your longevity in your profession.
Here are some simple strategies to replenish the physical, mental, and emotional batteries:
Sleep is one the key elements of a healthy body, strong mind and good spirits. Unfortunately sleep does not get enough respect and often times we boast that we get by with only 4 hours of sleep every night. It should be a big fat no. Sleep deprivation depletes your batteries like how a zoom video call depletes your phone batteries. It takes a real toll on your body. And if you are a nurse, this gets more real as you are on your feet and work like a bee. So, you need to find a way to work more sleep time into your schedule. If you are finding it hard to fall asleep you should start with creating a bedtime routine, which may include a bath, downtime to quiet your mind, or reading, that will positively impact the quality of your sleep.
Disconnect and take a vacation
When was the last time you were able to disconnect and take a vacation? Staycations are fun and recharging as well but the key here is being able to disconnect completely. Catching up on your sleep is not sufficient after what you have been through the last few years. You also need to change scenery, be yourself in a different setting, even if that is just a couple hours away.
Reconnect with the people in your life
One of the best way to immediately lift your spirits and get to your happy zone is social connections. With you busy work schedule and depleted social energy levels, you might be either forced to isolation or not feeling like reaching out. Do yourself a favour and get out, pick up the phone and connect with loved ones. Even if it is for a walk, a coffee break or a shopping outing you will see the benefits right away.
Treat yourself to a special me-day
A vacation away might not be always possible but taking a day off for yourself is the next best and quick energizer. You can choose to be alone or invite a favorite friend or sibling to come along and help you pamper yourself. Start your day with an extra couple hours of sleep, a delicious breakfast at your favourite coffee house, a walk in the woods, a little shopping, get a massage, catch a movie with a friend, end your day with a bubble bath and a peaceful sleep. Most importantly take the day to slow it all the way down. It is not a day to run errands, it is a day to savour. Put down being a super-hero and get back down to being a normal human being at a normal speed. You need that.
Originally published in Scrubletic.