Maybe the better question here is “why NOT a WellNurseLife?”. Sooooo many nurses struggle with finding and achieving this….to those of you who have found this balance….WOOT WOOT!! To the rest of us… it is not out of our reach, it is something that we all need and deserve, and I know we can find this together!!
Each of us is at a different stage with finding and creating our own individual WellNurseLife. That said, my WellNurseLife journey has begun just in the past 9 months or so, and I am soooo excited!! (I have finally admitted to myself that I have NOT had a WellNurseLife… whew…this was a big step for me). I have to say, not having a WellNurseLife happens without one even realizing it is happening. So many Americans struggle to find the balance in life, not just nurses, it is so difficult to do in today’s day and age. We all forge ahead through the daily grind, day after day, trying to keep up with all the professional demands and personal responsibilities, and as nurses, we often put everyone and everything before ourselves, so it becomes easy to lack a WellNurseLife.
I have spent the last 12 years as an Oncology Nurse busy being passionate about caring for oncology patients, have spent time and energy in a leadership capacity where my passion and caring focused on my staff and the team, not realizing my own WellNurseLife had completely fallen by the wayside. (Ok….I know that I realized it just really didn’t want to admit it….I could do it all, right?! I wasn’t the one who didn’t have wellness and balance in my life…no way, that was someone else, right?!)
So why do nurses struggle so? When they spend time teaching their patients and clients about health and well-being, teaching their patients how to manage illness, instructing patients and clients on proper nutrition and exercise, and so much more, why wouldn’t it be easy for nurses to adopt the practices and behaviors that they recommend to others into their own life? Do nurses in particular struggle with the balance even more so than the general population? I wonder, are we as individual nurses and a nursing culture, more committed to the cause then we are to ourselves? Does our current nursing culture make it difficult for us to have a WellNurseLife? While we are so busy caring for everyone around us and trying to “fix” everything for our patients and their families, and trying to balance a personal life at home, before we know it, many of us have completely forgotten about taking care of ourselves.
This is exactly what happened to me, and for me, it took some big professional changes, (which at the time is NOT what I wanted and NOT what I thought was right), to stop me from spiraling downwards and to get me headed in a better direction. I now find myself on a new and exciting path and am asking….What is the meaning of my recent change and transition? What’s next for me? Who I am? What do I enjoy? What makes me happy? What fills my cup? How do I want to spend my time and energy?
I have decided it is absolutely time for me to begin creating my own WellNurseLife! I wanted to share my journey with you, in hopes you would share yours with me, and we can find our WellNurseLife together! As nurses we hear so much about the importance of health promotion and wellness for our patients, but we don’t hear enough about the health promotion and wellness of nurses and members of our healthcare team. As we focus on ourselves and one another in working towards having a WellNurseLife, we will be able to continue caring for our patients and making a difference in their lives, because we are caring for ourselves!
Wishing You Well,