national nurses

Being a nurse requires consistently caring for others and paying close attention to the physical and mental state of patients. Selflessly showing up for others is an incredible task, but often, those closest to the health care system are at the highest risk of burnout. Therefore, the first week of national nurses month is all about self-care. We encourage you to take a moment  to pause and consider what you need for yourself and your well-being. To learn more about what you can do for self-care, visit Week One of National Nurses Month. #ANANursesMonth

Self-Care Tip #1 – Start with today.
Don’t overthink it. Self-care can start at any time, all it takes is a step in the right direction. Here are some self-care ideas to consider this week.

Self-Care Tip #2 – Refocus on what is important.
Personal growth and recentering on your values can be another way to care for yourself. Earn continuing education contact hours through nursing webinars and focus on ways to rest and restore.

Self-Care Tip #3 – Practice self-care together.
Self-care is more than what you can do for yourself. This month, get connected to your community for support or contact your employer and explore what resources are available to you. Check out the blogs below for a starting point on how community can be a catalyst for self-care.

Self-Care Tip #4 – Invest in yourself.
As you take time to reflect this nurse’s month, consider what’s next and how your needs may change over time. No matter what your next step is, it shouldn’t come at the cost of your physical or mental health.

Below are resources that include ideas, tips and inspiration to jump start a plan that focuses on the emotional and physical well-being of yourself and others through engagement of healthy activities that focus on both your body and mind.

Tammy Baumann Headshot“The role of nurse requires working under stress for long periods of time. This can impact mental and physical health. When I was a Director Of Nursing, I stopped taking care of myself. I was depressed, overweight, tired, stressed, had high blood pressure and well on my way to diabetes. I changed my lifestyle and definitely put self-care high on the priority list realizing I cannot help others be healthy if I am not healthy myself,” shared Tammy Wagner, RN, CADDCT, CDP, LSSGB; Great Plains QIN Quality Improvement Advisor.

Wagner added, “one of the challenges of being a nurse is the many emotions that come with the profession. The sad emotions that come with losing one of the patients/residents you have been caring for is difficult. It is also challenging when you know you have done your very best, but a family member is angry with what is happening to their loved one and possibly take it out on the nursing staff.”

We encourage you to explore practical self-care ideas and strategies to protect your mental and physical health; practice the art of meditation/focused breathing; take time to start an exercise routine, get a massage, start eating better or take time to do something for yourself. Self-care is defined in many ways and looks different for each individual.

Wagner added, “During May and anytime throughout the year, thank you cards with heartfelt messages are always welcomed. This is true for everyone, but letting nurses know that you understand they are working hard, under stress and putting in long hours is especially appreciated. A little gratitude goes a long way.”

On behalf of the Great Plains QIN team, Happy National Nurses Month! We thank you for ALL that you do.