As an Intensive Care Nurse and aspiring green thumb, I have been learning a lot about growth, both personally and professionally.
Just as my plants require water, sunshine and nutrients to grow and thrive, so too do nurses and midwives. We are all unique individuals who need to adapt to our external environments. Hospital environments are often spaces of chaos, stress and high energy.
It used to be common for me to leave a shift feeling dehydrated and exhausted. It often felt like there was no time for something as simple as a toilet break or a drink of water. I was very aware that I wasn’t doing the best I could to look after myself.
The last four years I have committed myself to my own wellbeing. I have been exploring and practicing ways to nurture myself so that I may better nurture others.
My gardening has taught me a lot about self-care. I was reminded recently of the importance of watering my plants. I had been mostly consistent with my watering but a few nights, I was working evening shifts and I was too tired to water the plants. It highlighted to me that it really is the daily routine of self-care that makes the difference. In only a few nights without water, I could see some of the leaves were already browning.
My garden taught me that self-care is a daily practice that supports our growth. It requires consistent practice and routine.
It’s a challenging idea: as nurses, we know there is not necessarily a routine in our schedules. I needed to be creative with the time I did have to improve my daily practice.
For me, a daily practice includes:
- No matter the weather, a walk outside in nature. Fresh air and grounding.
- Meditation. I started using a meditation phone app (headspace) to support this practice so I can do it at home, at work or where ever I am.
- Yoga classes on YouTube. No matter the time of night/day I can always access some stretching and breath through Yoga with Adriene.
My daily practice gives me grounding and accessible tools so that even without my phone I have been learning the skills of mindfulness. I found this especially necessary between our late/early reality so that I do not spend my dream at work!
These are but three examples of a daily practice that can help you to water your soul, body and mind.
Learn how to nurture yourself so that you can grow, thrive and continue nurturing others.
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