PSA: Nursing and self-care

Nurses spend their lives caring for others; in fact, they devote so much time to their patients (and families and loved ones) that they often push aside their own needs. To be sure, this selflessness is an honorable, admirable thing, but it can also lead to personal and professional burnout. So when nurse-turned–life coach Kate Sholonski reached out to Minority Nurse looking for volunteers for a self-care study, we thought, what better way than to ask our readership? Below you’ll find her “PSA,” and an invitation to participate in a brief self-care interview.

Serving others is a fact of life for nurses, often the reason they felt “called” to the profession in the first place. It is rewarding and fulfilling to care for, nurture, and comfort those in need. This was always true for me in my 28-year nursing career. . . at least most of the time.

Nursing challenged and energized me. I felt alive, full of purpose, and loved my work. But I also felt exhausted sometimes; I would put in a shift at the hospital, then continue the same commitment to nurturing and caring for my family at home. After several years of this unbalanced and sometimes frustrating lifestyle, I finally figured out what was missing—it was me. I was not giving myself the same loving attention I gave to everyone else. I started to feel resentment, not to mention a drop in energy and enthusiasm for life. My desire to care for others was gradually chipping away at my own well-being.

Fast-forward to a new time in my life and a new career where I now create workshops and learning experiences for nurses to help them address how they can better care for themselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It is in the information I am gaining from nurses in the workforce today that is helping me to better understand the dynamics and challenges that nurses face.

I invite anyone reading this piece to contact me for a brief interview regarding your views and experiences regarding self-care within the nursing profession. All personal content will be kept confidential. Participants in my study will receive a complimentary gift, 5 Ways to Say No Without Guilt.

Kate Sholonski is a certified life coach and inspirational speaker/ leadership trainer. You can contact her at Triumph! Personal & Professional Coaching, www.triumphcoach.com, or 570-723- 1020.

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