By Liz Scala
As I’ve shared in previous articles, I am a nurse and health coach. Having part-time jobs, owning my company, contributing to nurse and coaching associations, and studying to advance my education all contributes to how I am a very busy nurse; much like we all are!
Early last year, I had asked nurses what their biggest challenge was when it came to self-care. The majority of responses had to do with “time.” This was something I’d been told before; however lately this “time” concept continues to evolve even further. I also venture to add- everyone struggles with having enough time- not just health care professionals.
Recently nurses tell me they just don’t have time for “self-care”; in fact they are sick of hearing about it. They’ve share with me that they know what to do, they have the knowledge about health and wellness, but they just cannot fit it in! I understand. In fact, I have started to see a shift in my own thinking as it pertains to health and wellness coaching. I believe there might be a step before we are ready to set-goals; a space and place to prepare for self-care.
So what can I say to you if you are struggling with this very dilemma? You want to be healthy, you desire to change behaviors, but you just cannot fit anything else in and are feeling stressed about the thought of it. Here are some easy, time-friendly, and practical tools to get you started:
- 5 Minute Breath Work: Sit quietly for just five minutes each day. Observe your breath. Let go of thoughts. If a thought comes into mind; acknowledge it, but let it go without judgment. Just focus solely on your breathing. You can do it. Five minutes; that is all that I ask!
- 10 Minute Journaling: Writing is a fantastic way to get scattered thoughts, unsettling feelings, and conflicting emotions out onto paper. Journaling can be an outlet for creativity, a source of goal-setting, and a way to spend time in quiet alone. It is just another way for reflection and relaxation. Don’t overdo it… which will make you stressed, ultimately abandoning the project. Set a timer and just do it for ten minutes before bed.
- Build Healthy Habits into Your Day: I have seen this time and time again; lines of people at work waiting for the elevators or cars jockeying for the front parking spot at a store. Why not choose the healthier option in your day-to-day routine? Instead of sitting and posting on Facebook during lunch; why not eat your lunch and then head off the unit for a brisk walk? You can achieve self-care easily if you just build it into your routine!
- Revisit your Priority List: This bullet point is about shifting your mindset. If your excuse to not partaking in self-care modalities is “I have no time;” look and see who is getting your time or what you are spending your energy on. Also, observe who your number one priority is. Is it you; as it rightfully should be? Or do you have some rearranging to do? You have to start caring about your own health; no one else is going to do that for you!
- Cut out Time Wasters: How much “time” do you spend on the internet or watching TV? I know; the common rebuttal to this is “That is my way to unwind.” While some TV or interactions on Facebook are healthy and wonderful for keeping in touch; I want to caution that this is done so in moderation. Spending all of your free time on the couch in front of the television is time you could be spending in self-care activities. Get off your rump, get out there, and get moving!
- Self-Care in a Group: Make a healthy habit of doing things with friends, co-workers, and colleagues. Instead of always going out to a Happy Hour or a restaurant to catch-up; why not take a brisk walk in a park or go do something adventurous!? Making it a group activity will bring in the social aspect, but it will also make time fly… as you will be having fun.
Realize that you are a wonderful, beautiful, and worthy person. You deserve self-care; you deserve time for you, time outside of work, time for your life. Using these suggestions you can find a way to take part in healthy habits… in no time! Enjoy…
I welcome comments/questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author: Liz Scala writes about Health and Wellness monthly for AMSDaily. You can visit her blog at Living Sublime Wellness to read more on these topics. She is also one of the authors of the book, “The Best Inspirational Storie I Ever Read: Guide to a Purposeful Life”.