The sick person’s best medicine is desire-the desire to live, to be with other people, to do things, to get back to his life. When I was in the hospital, I was always gazing out of the window at the real world, which had never looked more desirable. I’d like to suggest, to invent or imagine or recall, ways of keeping one’s desire alive as a way of keeping oneself alive.— Anatole Broyard, Intoxicated by my illness
Rejoice in your work; never lose sight of the nursing leader you are and the nursing leader you will become.-Sue Fitzsimons
Rarely does a book on nutrition appear, that not only gets you excited about eating well and losing weight but also touches your heart. Author and registered dietitian Gina B does an amazing job at crafting her book into something relatable to everyone. She reveals her vulnerability through personal struggles, sends a message of empowerment and all the while encourages a key ingredient for success, mindfulness. Continue reading “Mastering Mindfulness: A self-discovery journal and behavior change program to conquer weight loss and create a life of happiness”
I recently spoke with an amazing author, who writes fiction that gives insight to the journey of living with mental illness. The characters she creates are very real and experience huge transformations. Her work has been met with much critical acclaim, capturing the country with genuineness and creativity. She now hosts a radio show called Wellbeing and Words in which I had the pleasure of being a guest on. Please take a listen as I talk about the beauty of human connection in a healthcare capacity and what every nurse can bring to those they encounter.
Rejoice in your work; never lose sight of the nursing leader you are now and the nursing leader you will become.”
— Sue Fitzsimons
In a previous article, I wrote about the importance of stepping back and taking a break every once in a while. For nurses, this replenishes and helps to prevent burnout. However, that does not mean we have to avoid stress altogether. In fact, maintaining a level of stress can be quite beneficial. The challenge comes from recognizing the bad vs. Good stress and using the latter to invigorate and keep us on our toes.
I can think of a couple examples where good and bad stress came into play in my life. Reflecting on the stress I experienced during nursing school a few years back, that actually proved beneficial. Meeting deadlines for assignments, encountering new situations during clinicals and preparing for the ominous N-CLEX exam, all felt grueling at the time. It was hard work that left me questioning how I would get through it. However, the stress led to hard work, motivating me to do a good job with my best work and to keep pushing forward through all the presented challenges.
When it came to bad stress, living with a close family member dealing with a severe illness years ago, it left me anxious and not taking good care of myself. That included lack of sleep, not eating very much and sinking into some unhealthy coping. Fortunately, with bad stress, we can intervene and take steps to decrease it. The first step is giving ourselves permission; giving the ok to take a break from what is affecting our wellbeing or stepping away from it all together. What can we give to anyone if we can’t take care of ourselves? If the stress can’t be left entirely, setting limits, groundedness, and reminders that we can only do so much, also helps.
On the flip side, even as we can turn bad stress around, good stress can do the same thing by going too far. A good example is studying for an exam to the point where we have an IV running a bolus of coffee and stay up all night. Or, getting so enmeshed in our work that we neglect those close to us and the stress begins to affect how we respond to other people, such as angry outbursts, etc. I find that what has helped many people, including myself, is recognizing the stress and getting into movement. We have stress hormones in our bodies, such as cortisol, that ages ago motivated us to run from saber tooth tigers. Now, with a more sedentary culture, we have all of these stress chemicals in our bodies that need a release. Exercise and whenever possible, get moving in a way that speaks to you. Whether it be dancing, jogging, kick-boxing or climbing mountains, It certainly will make all the difference. Combine that with moments of escape, close relationships and some R&R, you have the perfect recipe for joyful living.