Self Care

The hardest person on you is (you guessed it) YOU.

I know

as a mom of two little kids who need extra support for speech and language due to hearing loss and ASD

And

A wife of a man working odd hours and inconsistent schedules

And

A nurse in a leadership role leading her team through a pandemic

And

A student working through her master’s trying to build her career

I need to take time for self care. It’s hard to fit it in. Justify it. Commit to it. To be vulnerable. Accept help. It’s hard.

I did alot of work on me during covid 19. I recognized right away the impact the stress of a pandemic would have on me as a nurse.

Gratitude. Savouring. Learning to appreciate the small details and moments of life. I did this. I practice this. But it’s just not enough.

What happens when you are getting tired. Burned out.

McLeod (2019) describes burn out as emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and a low sense of personal achievement brought on by emotionally exhaustion and stressful situations.

Ummmm. I’m a correctional nurse. My life is emotional exhaustion and stressful situations.

But I would argue every nurse is susceptible to burn out and compassion fatigue and vicarious trauma. And many other helping professions are too. Social workers. Paramedics. Law enforcement. ” Emotional exhaustion and stressful situations” causes burnout. So what can we do?

Resilience and the development of coping strategies is considered the core element to treat and manage nurse related burn out (Rushton et al., 2015).

We all face differing levels of trauma and it is our ability to grow and learn from them that signifies how resilient we are as a person. The American Psychological Association (APA) (2012) defines resilience as ” the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress”.

If this isn’t you. Or you don’t seem to adapt or cope well with trauma and stress. This is ok. Resilience can be learned. APA (2012) states that just like building a muscle, resilience takes “time and intentionality”. They suggest to focus on the four core components — connection, wellness, healthy thinking and meaning — which can help empower you to learn from difficult and traumatic experiences.

Gratitude. Savouring. Connection. This work has definately contributed to my “connectedness”. Being more grounded and appreciative has served me well these past few months.

Just when you least expect it you catch a break. Sometimes you just need to let the universe serve you.

Next time I am going to explore wellness and how this connects to burnout. Or maybe how burnout impacts wellness.

Stopping to breath.

Much love

H

References:

American Psychological Association. (2012). Building your resilience. Retrieved from: https://www.apa.org/topics/resilience

Mcleod, M. (2019). Nursing burnout: We are not doing enough. Canadian Nurse. Retrieved from: https://www.canadian-nurse.com/en/articles/issues/2019/october-2019/nursing-burnout-we-are-not-doing-enough

Rushton, C. H., Batcheller, J., Schroeder, K., & Donohue, P. (2015). Burnout and resilience among nurses practicing in high-intensity settings. American Journal of Critical Care, 24(5), 412–420.

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