Be Your Own Nurse | | New Jersey State Nurses Association

Be Your Own Nurse

 In Nurses Weekly

What does it mean to have a caring relationship with ourselves? What nursing interventions can we apply to self-care and how do we create a self-nursing practice that sustains us in times of crisis and joy?

No one answer exists to address our current nursing reality. Many excellent evidence-based interventions are appropriate for different people. “Personal control” doesn’t mean we should “suck it up” and just “deal with it,” and self-diagnosis isn’t always the answer. For example, if you broke a bone, you would get an X-ray and have it treated. Psycho-emotional health requires nothing less. Professional mental health services are an important part of any self-care armamentarium.

However, returning to body, mind, and spirit basics reveals three interventions that can kick-start a self-nursing practice: breathing (spirit), intentional conversation (mind) and moving (body). Each intervention impacts the experiences (imprints) we collect over years in nursing and provides opportunities for reflection and perspective. Alone, or more powerfully in combination, these interventions support resilience.

Nurses continue to face a tremendous event that’s left us bruised, maybe a little bloody and most certainly scarred with memories we weren’t expecting. Our scars serve as a reminder of what it means to be a nurse, to care for others in hard times, and to persevere. When we share those scars with our colleagues, we aren’t alone.

When we provide ourselves with nursing care and intervene to manage how our past experiences affect our actions and reactions, we engage with our inherent resilience for uplifting, positive change. To sustain your resilience, start with self-nursing basics: breathe, intentionally speak and listen, and move.

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