7 Essential Activities For Revitalization
We all know that nursing is hard. It’s physically demanding, emotionally draining, and mentally challenging. We know that our worrying doesn’t stop when we clock out and I know I am not alone when to admit I’ve woken up in the middle of the night thinking of something I didn’t chart or some task left undone.
But the beautiful thing about being a nurse is that we care. We. Care. So. Much. We are called to the bedside to make someone’s day better, to heal, to use our critical thinking skills to save lives. Talk about amazing! What other profession out there gets to know someone so intimately for such a short amount of time? I honestly can’t think of one.
Recently, I have been feeling a little burnt out. At work, in life, on this side hobby. I’ve gone down the burn out road before and it ended in me not sleeping, gaining weight, and being miserable overall. I wanted to make a change. I wanted to explore ways to give myself some self-love in order to be ready to head back to the hospital and kick some serious booty or follow through with promises I have made to give back to you all (don’t worry I am still working on the templates… computer science isn’t my forte LOL). So over the past couple of weeks, I have tried different activities to find things that rejuvenate and refresh and here they are… drum roll plllleeeeaaassseeee…
Go for a walk, do yoga, run, lift weights, take an exercise class. Endorphins are proven to elevate moods and keep your emotions in check. I am not saying to drag your tired bones away from netflix and kill yourself in a workout that will make you sore for days (made that mistake… its hard to hold a epiduralized leg when pushing and feeling like your thighs are going to fall off) but I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how much lighter you feel after doing 30 minutes of light to moderate activity. Live in the district and want to try some free classes? Check out my blog post on where to find them!
Eat some veggies
We eat so much crap at work. I am completely guilty of this. Donuts? yes please! Chocolate cookies… I have been running around like a crazy person- sign me up! deep fried food at 3 am? heck yes! But here’s the thing. More and more research is linking moods to what we eat and sugar has been tied to anxiety and depression. So pile up that rabbit food to help even out your neurotransmitters.
OK, so before you roll your eyes and think to yourself “I knew Kata couldn’t go one post without bring in some newagie crap” hear me out. As nurses, you are constantly either going through a checklist of items or thinking two steps ahead to prevent whatever disaster may be there. Our brains are constantly working… so why not give them a break too. Not into sitting still and humming to yourself? Totally fine! Give coloring a try or one of the numerous apps that allow you to do short mediations. Or even better support Kait Hurley and do one of her Move and Mediate classes that will knock two of these items off your list!
Get some good zzzz
Sleep is the ultimate act of healing for our bodies. It gives our cells the time to refresh and rejuvenate. But I get how hard it is to get into a good sleep routine, especially when you are rotating 50/50. So be gentle with yourself. Recognize that any sleep is good sleep, even if it is less than eight (plus) hours to alleviate some of the anxiety around the “need to sleep”. During weeks that I rotate to nights, I am a total mess. I want to cry at the drop of a hat, have high anxiety, and just kind of feel like there is a figurative rain cloud over me. Over the past year I have come to the realization that these feelings mostly stem from the inability to get some good zzz during this time. So I have made so major changes to my day time sleeping routine. Blackout shades, eye mask, fan, white noise maker and I put my phone just out of reach so when I inevitably wake up at 11:30 am, wide awake, I can’t reach for it. Investing in a weighted blanket has had some positive reviews, although I haven’t tried it yet. The more you sleep, the better you will feel… so make this one a priority.
Read a book or magazine
I am a total hypocrite but this is something I am actively trying to do… READ MORE BOOKS. Even if its YA fiction and is mindless… doing something beside social media and binging on TV is needed. Get a library card and you have access to tons of books for free, while supporting your community. This is a form of relaxation that will either put you into a deep sleep or calm away all the call lights & bed alarms that haunt your dreams.
All Natural At Home Spa Day
Who says you have to go drop over $100 to have a mani/pedi, spa day? You have tons of ingredients to DIY your own facemask and I know you’ve got all you need to paint your toes. Get a fuzzy robe, soak your feet in some hot water, and relax. You’ve earned it.
Spend time with your pet We as humans, are social animals. We need to be around others to feel loved and give love. What is better to love on than our furry friends? Taking your dog for a walk or snuggling up with your cat will do wonders for your mood. Don’t have a pet? Check out volunteering at animal shelters to play with kittens, walk dogs, or help them find their fur ever homes!
You work hard and your patients and their families are so incredibly lucky to have you. You deserve to give yourself time to relax, rejuvenate, and refresh so that you can continue to love your job. Tell me which one you are going to try out this weekend in the comments! I wanna hear all about it!