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It's no secret that nursing is a rewarding and fulfilling, yet sometimes challenging and stressful, profession -- and it takes strength to succeed.
The best way to start strong (and stay strong, no matter where you are in your nursing career journey) is to give your mental and physical health priority. Newly graduated nurses are full of idealism and the hunger for new knowledge, along with some anxiety. Experienced nurses can keep that initial optimism and interest, while conquering stress and building a fulfilling life – but only if you remember to put yourself first when necessary.
Nurses can be perfectionists and may do anything to help others, but without the balance of prioritizing your basic needs, you can end up burnt out. That’s not good for your future, or for your patients, or for your family and friends.
So here’s to the year of you; as an ever-stronger nurse and happy, healthy, well-rounded person! Key thoughts: Don’t let your needs fall to the wayside for long periods. Don’t let guilt or perfectionism lead you to overwork and burnout. Here are some suggestions and inspiration for your brand New Year in nursing!
1. Renew your strength and stay healthy with life balance__. Make time for you: alone time, exercise time, reflective time (even if it’s only during a five minute break). Don’t feel guilty about making yourself better and stronger, because it helps you to help and heal others. Make time for family that strengthens you, then share their strength and support in turn!
2. Make a gratitude journal filled with the large and small life occurrences that made your day special. Get out of the house and take a long walk or a drive regularly, pretending you have all the time in the world. Notice things you might otherwise rush right by and add (pictures/images or words) to your journal.
3. Get a new perspective with travel. Travel gives you a chance to be a new person and you may feel like a student of the world, which can be so refreshing and re-energizing. It can be difficult to create time to "get away" as a nurse, so consider making travel part of your nursing job. To see new sights and build new perspectives: think about giving travel nursing a try.
4. Manage time wisely as a nurse. This is the best way to fight that overwhelmed feeling!
5. Eat right for physical energy and brain power! Also, indulge now and then -- without letting perfectionism defeat your happiness! Concentrate on being the perfect you, with human flaws and talents, rather than chasing some external idea of perfection.
6. Come back strong from mistakes, personal or professional. Mistakes are necessary if you’re going to participate fully in life. In fact, you must embrace mistakes and see them as learning opportunities in life and career. If a mistake is keeping you from career fulfillment or relationship success, get help or advice from someone you admire. Talk to a career mentor or level-headed friend to help you find the lesson in the error that troubles you—so you can be productive once again!
7. Remember that you are unique, with a distinctive contribution to make to the world. What works for you may not be what works for others – so use what inspires you from these New Year nursing tips, and leave the rest aside. You have your own high standards to meet as an individual and a nurse, so take charge with these tips and other nursing resources, both internal and external.
Find a way to put yourself first sometimes so that you can enjoy your new year (and your nursing life) to the fullest. You will inspire those around you, for certain! You can reach out to those who aren’t nearby, too: please share your New Year’s nursing success tips here with the wider community of travel nurses! Happy New Year from Fastaff Travel Nursing!