Ways to Practice Self-Care on Your Day Off

 In Nurses Weekly

The other day I watched a patient flail herself around her gurney desperately trying to find a position that would bring more ease to her breathing. She was in the classic tripod stance with eyes that gazed over her non-rebreather silently shouting at us why we weren’t helping. As we prepared the negative pressure room for intubation, one of the residents asked what actions we would take if she went into respiratory arrest in her current room.

The attending responded with a grim, “there are no emergencies in a pandemic.”

Although this response seems cold and brash, he was making the point that we cannot risk the health and safety of the staff in order to take care of one patient in the current state of our world. This statement caught me off guard at first, but throughout the past few weeks, it has actually brought me more guidance than most inspirational quotes floating around the internet.

If nurses hope to show up for our patients and our coworkers in big ways during this pandemic, we must first learn how to make sure we are in our healthiest physical and mental state possible. Here are five things I do to protect my own health:

• I Put Myself First
• I Get Extra Sleep
• I Focus on My Mental Health
• I Limit Social Media and News
• I Give Myself a Gift

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