Self-care for nurses

I’ve become increasingly interested in the topic of self-care for nurses. This is partly because of my own personal journey to heal and find balance in my life and work. The interest also stems from my work with nurses over the past 11 years and hearing countless stories about personal and career challenges. Nurses are caregivers by nature and by profession. Additionally, some of us are “double caregivers.” That is, nursing is our job or business and then we go home to be nurse to sick, disabled, or elderly parents, children, spouses, or significant others. I am a double caregiver, taking care of other nurses in my work and then, at home, taking care of my husband who has MS. I also look after my aging mother-in-law and parents. To be an effective healer, you have to heal yourself first – physically, emotionally, spiritually. Self-care is vital. Check out Holistic Nursing – A Handbook for Practice 4th ed. published by the American Holistic Nurses Association http://www.ahna.org/public/public.html for a better understanding of the need for, and methods toward, healing, balance, and wellness. How do you take care of yourself?

Comments

  1. heididupree says:

    Years ago, while caring for my high needs baby, I became completely physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally exhausted and depleted. I vowed to never let myself get that “empty” again and am now the queen of self-care! On a regular basis, I get a massage, receive energy-based therapies, and visit an Alexander techniques teacher who has taught me how to eliminate back pain. I make sure that my life is balanced with time for hobbies, exercise and connecting with nature. I have found that my self-care practices have a direct, positive impact on my productivity and sense of well-being, as well as the flow of clients to my practice.

  2. JKBailey2270 says:

    Being a nurse our jobs are to promote health to our clients. We forget about ourselves with the everyday chaos in our jobs & personal lives. Sometimes I think I take better care of my clients and family then I do myself. I think it’s important that nurse step back and take a look at how their lives are and start promoting health for themselves. We should practice what we preach. Working 10-12 hour shifts you come home exhausted and all you want to do it relax.

  3. As a holistic nurse, self care is “critical” in today’s stressful workplace.
    At the same time, nurses are learning heaing tools to integrate into their own lives, they are bringing this information, interest, and energy to their workplace environements and changing the face of nursing and supporting the paradigm shift of a more caring and healing model.
    I teach holistic nursing via an Integrative Nurse Educator program(check out current catalogue at : www. opencenter.org).
    I have produced an innovative and interactive self care dvd program, “At the Heart of Healing: Experiencing Holistic Nursing” that honors our holistic healing roots and teaches modalities to integrate into our own self care and bring to our professional practice. For more info, contact me at : holisticeducator@aol.com
    We all deserve to treat ourselves gently while caring for others.
    Susan