The focus this past week here at TheWellNurseLife has been kindness. In today’s world, we need more kindness than ever before. When we talk about kindness, we are usually referring to kindness towards others. Saying good morning when you pass someone in the hall, holding the elevator for someone, paying for someone else’s coffee, or simply just smiling and wishing someone a great day. There is no doubt that kindness towards others is important. Acts such as this brighten the day and create warm fuzzies for all involved. And, who doesn’t like a little of that!?!?
But, how often do you think of doing kind things for yourself? How often do you show yourself the kindness that you need and deserve? I’ll tell ya, many of us in healthcare aren’t good at this. :(. It doesn’t matter if it is clinic or hospital, inpatient or outpatient, day shift or night shift, support staff or provider….there is a pattern consisting of lack of self-kindness and lack of self-care amongst professionals in the healthcare.
Ugh….so why is this? Why are we so good at being kind, thoughtful, and caring to others, but not to ourselves? Here are some of my thoughts:
- We are so busy caring for others and helping everyone around us, that we don’t have any kindness and caring left to give to ourselves at the end of the day. (Boo, hiss!!)
- We don’t make the time to do something kind for ourselves, which means, that we aren’t making kindness towards ourselves a priority. (Say, what?!?!)
- Most of us have such a patient focused mentality, “patients always come first”, that we put ourselves last. Everything else comes before addressing our own needs and wants, and the work we do becomes self sacrificing. (Sigh….)
- We are in a healthcare culture that focuses on doing more with less, which runs staff ragged, creating burnout. This in turn continues to drive the cycle of poor self-care and lack of self-kindness. (Insert tears here… 🙁 )
On a side note…there are those of you out there who seem to have found a way to be good to yourselves in the midst of all of the demands and chaos of the job. (YAAAY!!! Woot Woot! Way to go!) But, I think the majority of us, struggle with this. I know I have for many years. I’ve struggled my entire nursing career trying to find the balance between work and myself. Trying to figure out how to take care of myself amidst the high demands, fast pace, and chaos of nursing. I’ve come a long way over the years, but I will always be a work in progress 🙂
This past week, I held a Kindness Challenge…where I challenged each of you to do one kind thing for yourself each day. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to be getting yourself pampered at the spa every day (though that would be absolutely fantastic!). It means, you need to do one kind thing for yourself each day that makes you feel good, helps you to be healthier, helps you to be happier, or helps to rejuvenate yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally.
- Go for a walk
- Snuggle with your dog/cat/kids
- Turn off the TV and stare out the window and just “be”
- Chop up some veggies for a snack on the go
- Make a healthy-low carb-sugar free dinner for your family
- Start reading a book
- Turn up your stereo and bust out some dance moves
- Tell yourself “it’s ok”. (It’s ok that you left some work to be completed the next day. It’s ok that your house isn’t perfectly neat and tidy.)
- Accept your mistakes of the day. Forgive yourself as none of us are perfect!
The options are endless. It doesn’t have to be something big, it just needs to be a simple thing each day that makes you feel better. With time, one simple thing each day will turn into a new lifestyle that focuses on YOUR health and wellness, not just everyone else’s.
If you didn’t get to participate in last week’s Kindness Challenge, it isn’t too late! You can participate this week, or the week after, or in a month from now! Check out my Facebook post to see more on this challenge and to follow me as I continue to participate in the challenge this week! You don’t need me for this, all you need is yourself. (But, if you want some extra encouragement along the way, I’m here!! Just give me a shout out!). I’d love to hear what you are doing for yourself. Please share in the comment section below or in the Facebook thread. Now, make yourself a priority and show yourself some love!