Article for Nurse
TIPS FOR TOUGH TIMES
by Aila Accad, RN, MSN
Nurses are not immune to the traumas and stresses of life. We handle our own difficulties and take on the troubles of others with superhuman capability. We are strong.
We also have limits. In these tough times it is easy to find our self at or over our limit. Tough times can either bring us to our knees or raise us to new heights.
We can be stressed to the max, yet, as long as life seems manageable, we don’t take the leap of faith into something new.
When events are beyond our control, we must surrender. Our defenses are inadequate to protect us from a reality that is overwhelming. This can be gradual or sudden, but often a surprising turn of events leaves us so vulnerable that we must open to something new.
The soft inner core of our being is exposed. This exposure provides a window through which we can find renewed life.
What can nurses do in tough times?
Nourish Yourself – Let go of the bootstraps and be kind to you. What nourishes you? Does inspirational reading, music or a cup of tea nourish you? Are there people or places, a favorite chair or a place outdoors that provide sustenance? Take care of you every day.
Stay Present – Don’t project ahead. Take life one day, one moment at a time. It is far more manageable when you pay attention to taking just the next step. Preoccupation and worry can leave you open to illness, accidents and errors in judgment. Scale down, simplify your activities and concentrate your precious energy supply on only what is critically important.
Accept Support - This can be difficult for nurses who prize self-sufficiency. Remember it is as virtuous to receive, as it is to give. Without the receiver, the giver has no way to share their gifts. Don’t deprive your friends and family of the pleasure to help you when you need it. Shared burdens provide opportunities for enhanced closeness and appreciation for one another.
Trust Your Resilience - Chances are you have been through tough times before. What were your natural strengths in those situations? How did you make it through adolescence? Childbirth? Marriage? Divorce? School? First job? What are your natural inner resources? Trust that you have what you need to see this situation through.
Visualize Success - See yourself moving into a new chapter of life. How do you want to write that chapter? Creation begins in the imagination. If you can think it, you can create it. In order to be free to dream and hope for something new, you must let go of the old visions and descriptions of yourself and who you think you can become.
Forgive Past Errors - Forgive past hurts, and people who may have inflicted them knowingly or unknowingly. This is not out of kindness to them, but out of kindness to you. After all, it is you who is carrying the burden of these hurts. Forgive yourself for mistakes or paths not taken. Release the burden of the past.
In times of crisis and change keep in mind that living means growing and nothing ever grows backwards. So, as bad as you feel, and as much as you doubt it, if you are alive you are growing. Growth is creative. So, nourish, trust, seek, imagine, let go and renew your life today.
Tough times are hard. They can also be the best times to explore ways to live more harmoniously with oneself and others.
© 2008 Aila Accad
Aila Accad, RN, MSN known as ‘The De-Stress Expert’, is a professional Nursing Speaker, Trainer and De-Stress Coach. She presents innovative
Nurse De-Stress & Lead Programs
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