Nurses are strong people. We work hard, give until we have no more, and most always put others first. We take a lot on a daily basis, and try not to let it beat us down. Us "caretaker" types are all about making sure everyone else's needs come before our own. STOP! While it's great to be caring, you actually matter too. Sometimes it is hard to see and realize this when life is busy and there's just so much to be done. Caring for those at home, and caring for patients at work. But what happens when we put our own needs and well being on the back burner ALL the time? We become no good... to anyone. Little by little, day by day, we fall apart physically and emotionally until there is nothing left to give. This is a dangerous trap to fall into, and it's time to stop the vicious cycle.
Take a moment to think of what it would feel like to invest in your own health and well being in a way that would make you feel great, value yourself, and maybe even encourage those around you to do the same. Might you have a little more stamina to tackle life every day? What if it could be better? If you are one of those people always leaving yourself last, it can be better. Much better. Let's face it, as nurses we see sick people every day. We see sad scenarios, preventable diseases, and painful situations all the time. We care for these people, and it's great that we do. But if we're not doing anything to help prevent these situations from becoming a reality in our own lives, then we are doing ourselves a huge disservice. If we allow our bodies to be beat down, overweight, stressed out and unhealthy, we will sooner rather than later be of no help to anyone, including ourselves. Not to mention, we could possibly even end up IN the hospital bed rather than beside it. You deserve better.
Do you want to rely on healthcare to "fix" you when things go wrong? Or would you rather stay out of the whole mess by taking care of yourself in ways that you know can prevent so many problems in the first place? We know what goes on. We know what's involved in healthcare. I don't know about you, but I would rather stay far away from it in every way possible by living a life that will help me avoid all of that. Of course unforeseen things can occur in anyone's life, but I am talking about living a healthy lifestyle to avoid the things that we KNOW are preventable. There is so much that can be avoided.... and I'm all for that. Let's enjoy a well lived life and feel good while we're at it. Then we can care for others with a whole new perspective!
Terri Wentzell is a registered nurse with more than 20 years of experience. She is also a certified personal trainer, wellness coach, fitness nutrition coach, and sport yoga instructor.