Before any aircraft takes off, the hostess gives a demonstration of what to do in case there is a lack of oxygen. She talks about first putting the oxygen mask on yourself, then helping your child.
Many nurses are so caring they want to put the oxygen on the child first; or in this case, the patient, -so they tend to ignore themselves. To take care of others, you need to care for yourself first, so you have the energy and health needed.
What exactly is self-care?
Self-care includes any intentional actions you take to care for your physical, mental and emotional health.
The world Health Organization defines self-care as; ‘what people do for themselves to establish and maintain health, prevent and deal with illness.’
For many nurses, this can be a challenge because you are always busy, and nursing is a never-ending job. Eventually, many nurses suffer from burnout, physical illnesses as well as emotional problems.
I have a neighbor who loves her dog. Her dog’s name is Pinto. I noticed every Friday she went out with Pinto, and when she returned, Pinto looked so clean and pleased. One day she saw me looking at her dog with a quizzed expression. “Oh! We just got back from the Dog Spa.”
She went on to explain how Pinto got a 15-minute massage, teeth brushing, and a 5-minute skin conditioning treatment. Pinto got her nails trimmed and a hairstyle and brush, as well as a ‘paw-dicure’ nail color. Imagine a pedicure for dogs!
If a pet can get that much care, nurses need to make self-care a priority.
In this article, I want to talk about four things you need to say ‘No’ to -so you say ‘Yes’ to yourself.
1. Say No to overtime when you are exhausted
Working overtime is often tempting particularly when you look at your paycheck. However, consider what it is doing to you physically. Over time, the constant exhaustion catches up with you. Your body needs to rest and rejuvenate, and it may mean saying ‘No’ to that over time no matter how attractive it looks.
2. Say No to lack of sleep
I know a nurse who works double shifts five days a week. By the time he gets home past midnight, he gets about three to four hours sleep, and it’s time to get up and start a new day.
Three to four hours sleep after a 16-hour shift is not adequate sleep. Lack of sleep can lead to depression, the risk of stroke, obesity due to eating at odd times and eating fast foods, lack of focus particularly while driving, and making a myriad of med errors.
3. Say No to poor stress management techniques
Poor stress management techniques are using negative methods to deal with stress. These include: drinking too much alcohol, smoking, taking drugs, eating comfort foods, zoning out for hours in front of the TV and lashing out at others.
4. Say No to toxic people
Minimize the negative influences around you. These are people who like whining, complaining and have poor attitudes. You may not be able to avoid them completely, but you can minimize your interaction with them.
Having said No to these four things, say Yes to the following six:
- Say yes to fun and hobbies
- Surround yourself with positive, supportive helpful people whenever possible.
- Say yes and take time to relax.
- Say yes to attend retreats.
- Say yes to daily meditation.
- Say yes to travel and adventure.
For more tips, enter your email today.