Nurses Care For Others and Forget to Care for Themselves
Nurses give so much in caring for others that they often neglect caring for themselves. Working eight, ten, and twelve-hour shifts, and often scheduling overtime, nurses are constantly on the move. Having long work hours, maintaining a personal life, caring for children, and maintaining personal academic growth through advanced degree achievement and continued education for the profession, nurses often have little time for themselves.
Many nurses may believe that they are in fact mentally and physically well until they experience burnout from sheer exhaustion. Nurses are often the last ones to seek relief because they are programmed to operate in the zone of “I got this”. Nurses operate as superhumans as they handle multiple challenges of serving others while maintaining their own active lives. They move within a bubble of working hard, working while exhausted, working overtime to cover a shift, and working multiple jobs (what nurse has not worked at two separate jobs in the same week?).
Live With a Purpose and Have a Quality Personal Life
Nurses need to live their lives not only with purpose in caring for others within the healthcare system, but they also must have a personal quality of life. Nurses need to live a life to exercise personal pleasures and fulfill extracurricular activities. As a nurse gives to others, they must be sure to give time to themselves.
- When was the last time you had a massage?
- When was the last time you sat still and meditated for 10 minutes in silence without the barrage of sounds from television, phone, and voices?
- When was the last time you took a stroll through a garden and stopped to smell the flowers?
- When was the last time you had a meal by yourself and enjoyed your own company?
Spending time alone is providing yourself an appreciation of yourself within the universe. Nurses give so much to care for others, and we must carve out precious time for ourselves.
Time is Limited, So Enjoy Your Life
Time moves quicker than we realize. We often ask, “Where has the time gone?” As nurses, most of us have taken care of a patient during their last days, hours, and moments of life, and as such, we have seen our patients react differently. Some accept that death is near, while others fight on, or hold out to try to resolve family issues. Others may be disgruntled and act out towards family and healthcare providers.
As a nurse, it is likely that you have experienced caring for one of these types of patients. One thing that each of the types of patients has in common, is that time is limited. We give our all in caring for our patients and should have the same level of dedication in caring for ourselves. Taking time out to do something fun, such as a Paint and Sip Class, or something relaxing such as a massage is a great boost for a “restart” in a hectic workweek.
What can you think of to enjoy by yourself, and dedicate as “me time?” Time is limited, and to prevent burnout we must carve out time ourselves and participate in activities that we find enjoyable.