self-care

Oh my goodness. I am so glad one of my friends shared the Tumblr #WhatShouldWeCallNursing with me. I know Nurses Week is supposed to be all wonderful and full of appreciation – and believe me – it was, but I am pretty sure the universe conspired against me last week saying, “Yeah, I know you’ve been a nurse for a while and particularly love this week. Let’s see how you handle this; tell me now if you still love nursing. Mwuuuaaaaahhhhhaaaahaaaaaa!” At least that’s how it felt. Seriously…tough week.

So, when my friend shared #WhatShouldWeCallNursing, I cried from laughter (and thankfully not due to my week…although that would absolutely come later in the week, unfortunately). I’ve been back to the Tumblr I don’t know how many times, and I end up laughing out loud among people who just stare at me.

I don’t care. It’s that funny. Check it out. 

Thanks to the awesome, anonymous nurse who continues to take suggestions from the nursing community for ongoing posts. I love it so much, I included a few gif’s that pertain to my nursing world…

When a meeting gets cancelled just minutes before it starts:

When people ask me if I sit at a desk all day as a nurse director:

When my staffing works out:

When my new positions are approved for hiring:

When someone says they didn’t receive any information sent out multiple times over the course of six weeks regarding the mandatory training due in one day.

Have a great week!

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Refocusing on the Art of Nursing

by Nursetopia on March 25, 2014

Nurses Week (May 6-12) will be here before we all know it. And what will nurses have throughout that week? The same they have each and every week – not enough hours in the day and fewer resources to care for sicker patients. Day after day. week after week. It’s easy to forget the love – the art of nursing, but we can change that.

Elizabeth Scala, MBA, MSN, RN, is hosting The Art of Nursinga four-day, online series to reinvigorate professional passion during Nurses Week. With twelve sessions crossing numerous and well-known nurse speakers, the series will focus on practical concepts for nurses to care for themselves. And with enrollment packages ranging from students through entire organizations, there is something for everyone.

What nurse doesn’t want a little bit of time to himself or herself to focus on the art of our profession rather than trinkets and bobbles during the celebrated Nurses Week? Share The Art of Nursing with those around you – nursing students, nursing colleagues, and leaders within your organization.

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Give Grace to Grow

by Nursetopia on January 23, 2014

Grace. 

It’s a beautiful word. I use it a lot in health care – to talk about professionals in their work in addition to encouraging professionals as they learn. We live and work in an immediate culture. We have to have and do and be everything – all at once - now. It seems as though there is little to no time given to individuals to learn these days, and I mean this as an expectation from both the teacher/supervisor as well as the learner. We set unrealistic expectations of ourselves and demand that we know everything on day one.

I know because I am the same way.

I picked up a phrase, a philosophy, really, from my brother-in-law, a pastor, about a decade ago. He always used to say, “Give people grace to grow,” meaning we all make mistakes, and we all learn from our mistakes; allow people to have time to make mistakes and learn from them. This has deep spiritual meaning for me in the workplace – in health care – today, and I frequently tell this to team members as they are orienting or learning a new system or process. I whisper it to myself at times, as well.

Grace to grow. Grace to grow. Grace to grow. 

Growth takes time; growth takes patience; growth takes grace. Provide your life with some space – some grace…to grow.

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When Something Has To Give – Give, Give Away

by Nursetopia on October 21, 2013

I have the current privilege of helping open a brand new cancer center. My family and I have relocated to a new city. Over the course of one weekend, I got a new job with new responsibilities and new colleagues, my husband’s business changed, our home physically changed, my children got a new school with new teachers and friends, and we started attending a different church. Whew! It has been really, really great. Even good stress – eustress – is still distressing and exhausting.

Writing has been my self-care literally since age 10. I haven’t been able to write recently like I’m accustomed to, like I’d really like to do so. There just hasn’t been enough time. And that’s okay. Something had to give, and that something was writing. It doesn’t mean I’ve given up writing or blogging by any means. I simply needed to focus on the most vital of life pieces, which for me, will always be my family.

Life in recent weeks has been full of work, yes. But, my restoration and renewal has come at the hands of tiny people, high-pitched squeals, lamp-lit nighttime childhood reading, cuddled television-watching sessions, spontaneous date nights with My Love, and quick trips to visit parents and siblings.

It has been divine. And exactly what I needed. At first I guilted myself into writing an article here and there, but then I forgave myself and gave up the masochistic emotions and self-inflicted stress.

My writing is starting to return as the everyday stress of learning a new role, new people, new roads, and new environments dissipates.

Daily stress seems to be increasing in every healthcare role. Something has to give. And when it does, give, give away, Friends.

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The Sacredness of Tears

by Nursetopia on August 24, 2013

A sweet friend shared this quote with me several years ago. I often think about it, and I most certainly thought about it a lot this week as people within my organization – people I love working alongside – learned of my move to another healthcare system and we shared conversations of the past, present, and future.

SacrednessOfTears

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Choose Well

by Nursetopia on July 17, 2013

Everyday we are faced with decisions we know we should choose, but for some reason or another, we do not choose it. An easy example is exercise.

know I should get up before the sun comes up and workout simply because I will not have time in the evening, and it will get overlooked fairly quickly. Physical activity early in the morning is good for my body as well as my brain. Still, oh, it is so much easier to hit my snooze button and sleep and extra 15 minutes. By that time, I can rationalize not even working out because I need every single minute to get ready for work. Since I’m not going to workout, I can sleep another 20 minutes. Yay!

And then I get out of bed – 35 or 40 minutes later – upset at myself for not working out because I know I will literally not have time for the rest of the day to make my physical health a priority in that way.

Exercise is the simple example. We have these internal discussions all the time in both our personal and our professional lives because we know how to choose well and still don’t want to do so. Interestingly, when I’m faced with these kind of decisions, I almost always regret not choosing well, but I never regret actually choosing well. That makes choosing well the subsequent times all the easier.

Choose well today, Friends.

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Painting Care

by Nursetopia on April 22, 2013

Ugly, purple, chipped toenail polish
Staring at me.
Days, weeks of effort focused on everyone and everything
Except me.
Today is no different.
The me, me, me cries out all around
But it’s not me, me, me.

I love those me’s.
I’d give me for those me’s.
Those me’s need me.

The long week turns into the long weekend, the long day, the long night.
Chipping away.
Needing attention.

Rest rolls in.
Hair up.
Polish around.
I paint and paint and paint.
Strokes of long awaited attention.
In red.

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A Little Bit of Frustration Goes A Long Way

by Nursetopia on April 5, 2013

FrustrationA little bit of frustration – with the system, the “man,” or whatever – goes a long way. A little bit of frustration is healthy, in my opinion. It keeps us passionate. It keeps us advocating. It keeps us moving forward because we know whatever “it” is shouldn’t be this frustrating.

A lot of frustration, on the other hand, is no good. It’s just overwhelming. It leads to burnout.

Everything in moderation, folks…including frustration. If you have too much at the moment, push back from the table to limit your intake and let things settle and remember that a little goes a long way to effect change.

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I’m always doing a lot of formal research reading, but here’s a sample of my more informal reading this week.

What are you reading?

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Finding Rest by Working On

by Nursetopia on February 19, 2013

A long day leads to a quiet evening.

Writing is sanctuary.

A blank screen. A soft whirring from the computer. 

A foggy block. 

A barrier to safe solitude. 

Fingers next to keys. Hovering. And then the familiar clicking rhythm. 

No clear reason.

The mind quiets and finds rest. 

Clarity. 

I read and write to help calm my mind each evening. When I have writer’s block, I push through it because I know the result is worth it. After a busy day on the unit, in the clinic, or wherever you provide care, how do you quiet your brain and find rest?

 

 

 

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