The New Year is upon us, shockingly fast in my opinion. It’s time to write down a couple short term and a couple long term goals for 2019. Saying you’re going to do something is one thing, writing down what you want to accomplish gives it life. Having it on paper and putting it in a place that you see every day give it weight and importance. A daily visual reminder of the promises you made to yourself.
To paraphrase Rachel Hollis, you wouldn’t break a promise to your best friend so stop breaking promises to yourself. Stop disrespecting yourself by making excuses for not living your best life. Learn to say no to some things so you can say yes to the really important ones. Making your health and wellness a priority is not selfish. Taking care of yourself first is what needs to happen or you won’t be able to take care of anyone else.
So back to writing down your goals. Vague doesn’t count, it makes room for cop-outs. I highly recommend using the SMART system for stating your goals. Let’s break this down. Mobility work is something I struggle to get done each week So I’ll use that as an example.
S: Do 15 minutes of foam rolling and static stretching three times per week.
M: I will log in my calendar a large M on the days I roll and stretch for 15 minutes. This way I can look back and see when I have done the work.
A: I have the ability/knowledge to accomplish this. I will continue to consult trusted resources for ways to mobilize my creaky, stubborn, tight parts.
R: Yes, I have the time and knowledge to do this.
T: I want to start on 1/1 and assess where I am on 2/28.
Break out those pens and maybe treat yourself to a new notebook to keep track of your progress and get writing.
Happy New Year everyone, cheers to accomplishing our goals!
I am tired. Tired in a way that is difficult to explain and in-turn difficult to understand. My full-time job can be mentally, emotionally, and physically draining. This week was the first two in spades. Generally people wonder why nurses work three to four days per week instead of the standard five day work week. The easy answer is we tend to work more hours in a day, so we then have our weekly hours completed sooner. The truthful answer is because of weeks like this one. When we honestly wonder, at the end of our shift, how we will muster the mental and emotional strength to return the next day. Shifts can be soul crushing. And no, I’m not being dramatic. If you know a nurse ask that person if they have cried before during or after a shift. The tears hardly ever happen in-front of non-nurses, these are private moments when we lose our handle on the compartmentalization of our feelings. Nurses are bastions of self control. We do not flinch when we care for people in their most mortifying times of life, we control anger when treated poorly, we summon empathy for and try to see the good in even the most ornery people. All of this takes a toll. It feels like you give away a little piece of yourself every time you do it. Some days it feels like you have given every bit of yourself away and have nothing left. Nothing for the people you love most, nothing left for yourself.
My coping mechanisms aren’t for everyone, but they work for me. I am enthusiastic about them and want to tell people how well they work. I get it, I can be a bit over the top about it. Having found something that works so well I want to share it with others so they too can care for themselves and be healthy.
Some of the ways I cope with this stress, and life stresses in general, are reaching out to others and talking about it, exercise, eating well and nourishing my body, making sleep a priority, meditation, allowing myself to do nothing… these are the main ones. Having varied healthy coping mechanisms in place and part of my toolbox has seen me through some very dark times. I encourage everyone to reach out when in need, to nourish their bodies with food that makes them feel well, to rest, to move every damn day in a way that makes you sweat, to take the time to stop and sit with yourself, to breath deeply, to allow yourself the joy of being content and enough and know that you are loved.
P.S. Leave a comment and let me know how you handle stress. I like learning new skills for life. You never know when your unique idea will be the key to success for another person.