If you’re a nurse who applies adequate and appropriate self-care, you’re a rarity! Studies have demonstrated that so many of us give and serve and care for others well, but we end up being less effective and feeling depleted because we’re worn out and maybe even sick ourselves.
As you look toward Christmas in this very strange year, would you try on this idea? God loves you as much as he loves your patients, your family, and your colleagues. He desires wholeness and wellness for you as much as he does for each person you care for and about. Caring for yourself is a means of honoring what God has made—tending to the needs of your spirit, mind, and body: the facets of yourself which you dedicate to God.
Christy Secor, NCF’s Professional Ministries Director, shared the following thoughts and ideas, praying that you, a nurse and one whom God loves, will give yourself some care this season.
“Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.”
Why nurses need to care more for themselves:
- Lived experiences
- Increased need for boundaries
- Dealing with trauma
- Recognition of health disparities
Where should you start?
- Give yourself permission
- Fear, guilt, and self-doubt can keep us from moving forward.
- Boundaries show self-respect. Give yourself permission.
- Seek support
- Support groups, church groups, counseling, coaching, or good friends
- Do more of what makes you happy! (Have we heard this before?)
- Physical activity—walking, biking, Wii, online Pilates
- Being outside in nature
- Connection with others: friends, family, neighbors, grandchildren, Zoom, video, Skype, email, window visits
- Companion animals
Best of all, talk and listen to God! Try listening prayer.
- Make time each day to listen to God when you are fresh.
- Keep the time consistent as you would an appointment or meeting.
- Read a short devotional/passage of Scripture. Sit in God’s presence as you repeat a word or phrase that intrigues you. Listen for His voice.
- If you can, try walking in nature after reading His Word. Listen as you walk.
Prayer & Listening, (IVP, 2003) a short 6-part Bible study by Jan Johnson
Also look at the variety of Bible Studies on the NCF website. Many are downloadable. The newest study is “Rest and Renewal."