How Nurses Can Make Self-Care a Priority During Stressful Times

Are you struggling to implement self-care into your life? If self-love was equivalent to self-care, would it accurately depict how you feel about yourself? As the most trusted profession, nurses have the innate ability to care for others, and often, we place the needs of others before our own. According to the World Health Organization, self-care is defined as the action that individuals, communities, and families perform for themselves to establish and maintain health to prevent and address illness.

>>Listen to “How Nurses Can Make Self-Care a Priority During Stressful Times with Terrin Ramsey and Teih Taylor”



Self-care practice is as unique as the individual and changes based on their needs. Sometimes, my self-care practice is conducted through a spa day, travel, long walks, physical exercise, prayer, meditation, or anything that allows me to rejuvenate and refresh from feeling overwhelmed by internal or external stressors. I attribute the success of my ability to practice self-care to introspection and boundaries.

Self-Care and Mental Health

The American Psychiatric Nurse Association recommends that holistic health improves mental health, and self-care is achieved when there’s a balance between the mind, body, and spirit. Practical self-care interventions include healthy nutrition, physical activity, positive self-talk, embracing your spirituality, creating a hobby, scheduling self-care, saying no, attending social gatherings, unplugging, listening to music, meditation, and enjoying life. 

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We all can practice self-care and be intentional about taking time to care for ourselves. If you are a mother and or wife, mom guilt can be experienced. It’s okay to ask for help and establish boundaries so that the expectation of filling your wellness cup is prioritized by you and respected by others.  As nurses, we care for others, but who cares for us? Self-care is imperative, and I encourage everyone, from the nursing student to the professional working nurse, to do his or her best when faced with competing responsibilities. Give yourself grace along the journey and enjoy the growth in the process. Be well and practice self-care.

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