Happy Nurses Week to all the incredible Nurses out there!
I am grateful to have guest blogger Ashley of Dreadlock Tarot give us Nurses some tips on De-Stressing. Ashley is an intuitive tarot card reader who hails from New Jersey. Also being a registered nurse, she incorporates nurturing, healing and caring into all of her readings. She feels that her job as a reader is to help you clarify issues in your life and live up to your full potential. You can find out more about Ashley on her website (here) and I highly recommend getting a Tarot card reading from her.
We all know, as nurses, our job is one of the most demanding jobs out there. Having to take care of others, day in and day out, is just the basis of what we nurses do. Long hours, working on holidays, no control over scheduling, aggressive administrators, heavy workloads are all emotional and mental pressures put on nurses on a daily basis. Not even to mention all the lifting, bending, pulling and pushing nurses do which if not done properly, can do damage to the body. I think it's very important that we as nurses take care of ourselves with holistic methods, because we need to take care of our bodies physically, emotionally and spiritually. So what are some good ways nurses can get down and get centered? Here are some ideas:
Yoga: Most of us know what yoga is or have taken a yoga class. If you haven't encountered yoga, it is a series of postures and stretches that can help one to become more centered, breath better, and have better overall health. This exercise can be especially good for people who work in stressful environments such as nursing. The breathing techniques can help reduce stress, the stretching is good for the muscles and increases circulation and gives one a overall sense of well being. If you have never done yoga, look for free or low cost introductory classes in and around your community and try it out. I have no doubt you will find one!
Reiki: This is another modality you may have heard a lot about lately. Reiki is a form of hands on healing developed by a Japanese monk in the 1920's and is now internationally known. This is a method that involves one person using their hands to give someone more "Ki", or life force energy to promote healing and well-being. A lot of hospices have reiki volunteers to give their services to the dying and many hospitals have adopted it and use it on patients receiving chemo therapy. While in these cases it is a complimetary therapy meant to be used in conjunction with medical treatment, nurses can receive reiki treatments too! If you find you have an area of soreness on your body or pain or any other issues, try some reiki. You may find that energy healing actually can make quite a difference.
Coloring and/or Painting: Remember as a kid when you had to take art classes? Weren't they fun?! Even if it wasn't your favorite class, art is a great way to express yourself and be creative! Painting classes are popping up all over the place. These classes are fun and you get to socialize with new people! You can go on Groupon or Living Social if your looking for a deal on classes. And did I say coloring? You bet I did. Many authors are now making adult coloring books with intricate designs and pictures. Coloring can be cathartic and relaxing, and at the end you will have a beautiful picture. Try a book like The Enchanted Forest by Joanna Basford. It might sound juvenile, but I promise you might find yourself having a blast and coloring your stress away.
Taking a walk: Yup. Sometimes it's that simple. Especially now that Summer is coming (at least it is here in the US) you will notice everyone is getting outside. I know it's hard for us nurses to do sometimes, especially with 12 hour shifts and then family responsibilities, but I dare you to just try, maybe for 2 times a week, to take a 30 minute walk. You could do this alone, with your significant other, or with a friend. It's a great stress reliever, you get time to either talk or be alone with no interruptions and its good exercise!
Dancing: Like Lady Gaga says, JUST DANCE!. I'm serious! Do it in your living room, in your bedroom, in the street, while your doing the laundry, anywhere! Or if you like structure, try something new by taking a dance class in your community. Tap, ballroom, flamenco, and many others that are fun and another good work out. Its is also a way for you to let go and use your body to express your feelings and thoughts. Even express frustration and anger.
Meditation: Good old meditation. Now I know sitting quite for 20 minutes doesn't make sense for a lot of people, but meditation has been proven to lower the heart rate, slow the release of cortisol, reduce stress and lower blood pressure. Try guided meditations or just listening to nature sounds while sitting quietly in your favorite chair (try not to fall asleep).
Try as many or as little of these as you want! I am a personal believer in self-care, especially for us nurses! There are many more ways but the most important thing is that you find the one that is right for you. Have fun with these and get centered!
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