Nurses, as caregivers, are often the last people to take care of themselves. Many nurses don’t take the time to replenish themselves; skipping meal breaks, feeling pulled in many directions, yet continuing to give and give.
Airline emergency prep procedures instruct us to put on our own oxygen mask before assisting others with theirs. This is an example that needs to be applied to our lives. If we aren’t getting the “oxygen” we need, then how can we be fully useful to others in the long run?
Standard self-care recommendations include eating right and exercising. Those are great things to incorporate into one’s lifestyle, but we can go beyond that to personalize our own self-care.
What are your immediate needs? What happens if they are not met? What refuels you? The answer may depend or your personality – if introverted, you may find soaking in a tub or reading a good book are helpful; if extroverted, relaxing with friends might be what fills you up.
Don’t forget to be spiritually renewed! If you work on a Sunday and miss church, take time for a “Sabbath” on your day off. Listen to a sermon message while you drive to work. Write encouraging scripture on a notecard and keep it in your pocket to reflect on throughout the day. Seek to live by the Spirit and keep in step with the Spirit (Gal 5:22-25).
We all need to have our “tanks filled” in order to keep going. Set some priorities and goals for this year. Be willing to say “no”, even to some good things, so that you can invest in better things. Find things that refuel your tank and make taking care of yourself a priority! You’ll be a better nurse for it!
by Bonnie Hann, RN, BSN, BS-Missionary Nursing
NCF Campus Liaison
Read more from the InterVarsity Blog, “Are Physical Health and Spiritual Health Connected”.