2017 was a year of highs & lows.
The Lows: Mom gets diagnosed with colon cancer & spending Thanksgiving week in the hospital hoping that modern medicine is all it's cracked up to be.
The Super Highs: Mom is found clear of cancer after surgery & doesn't need chemo or radiation!!! Also starting this little company - New Thing Nurse - & finding so many connections & endless support through our #newthingnursetribe during the harder parts of this year has been a great gift. Thank you to everyone who reached out. You guys are amazing.
so what are my goals for the new year?
These past few months have definitely reshaped my goals for 2018. I have been away from the bedside for almost 6 weeks helping with my mom and am returning to work soon. I'm a little nervous, but so ready to see my ER team again. They were constant supporters throughout this whole series of events. I am so lucky & honored to be able to work with them.
However I want to come back as strong of a co-worker as possible. I am almost ready, but there are certain self-care steps that I want to make priorities this year to ensure that I am my best self for home & work. These past few months have been hard, & I have not always excelled at keeping my head level. Now it's a new year, so time to change up my approach.
None of these ideas are revolutionary, but if I achieve a few of them every day, I will be a stronger person & nurse -
Self-Care Goal: Eat better.
This is in no way a unique idea for a New Year's goal. I want to eat better for my health - eat cleaner, less junk & more consistently. My husband & I want to cook more this year. We bought an InstaPot. We will see how that goes. But the idea is to not just eat for physical health, but also for my mental health. I don't want to count calories or be guilty for having a cookie (I really love cookies). I want to support myself in my food decisions not only by what I eat but also, how I feel about what I eat. (If you want to have daily morsels of self-love along these themes, please follow BodyPosiPanda on IG.) I want to be more forgiving of myself. More on that later.
Self-Care Goal: Drink more water.
I am putting myself on notice for being better about carrying around my water bottle & using it. I am a hot mess when I am cracked out on coffee. We have all been there. The shift is going bad. You didn't sleep well the night before. The miracle bean juice smells incredible, so you drink a few cups. Then a few more. The resulting headaches & dehydrated crank are real. Sarah needs to drink more agua.
Self-Care Goal: Stretch.
Along with working out (which I need to be better about), I want to stretch more. As nurses, we carry a lot of stress in our bodies. We also have very physical jobs. I sometimes come home with aches & pains that make me feel like an old woman. Last year I got a roller, which has changed the game, but I need to use it more consistently. I want to make time in the morning & evening to stretch it out on my new yoga mat. It's time to make the pain nothing but a 2017 memory.
Self-Care Goal: Be more forgiving of myself.
I am a worrier. I worry about my patients, their families, my co-workers, my job, my family, my husband, myself, my extended family, my neighbors, my stuff, my community, my country & the general state of the world. And this is just the short list. I worry about all of these things, want to fix all the problems & then feel an amazing amount of guilt related to my inability to fix the planet.
This is not healthy.
I want to try to be more forgiving of myself. This goes along with being more patient with myself. I am a super type-A, self-critical human. I want to relax those personal characteristics a little. To achieve these goals, I hope to slow things down, be more honest with myself & others, be a better communicator, go talk to my therapist (I love my therapist.) & try some things like yoga & meditation. This is a big goal, which I know I won't fully achieve this year or the next, but if I can make some progress, I know that I will be a better me.
Self-Care Goal: Meditation.
I'm putting it out there. I'm going to try to meditate this year. There is so much sadness & emotional dreadfulness that we see as nurses. It's time to try to learn how to help clear my mind. Did you know that 1 in 10 emergency workers suffer from PTSD? Nurses see tragedy so often that it doesn't even register sometimes. It is so important to take care of our minds along with our bodies to make it possible to have long & healthy nursing careers.
2018 - Let's see what we can do.
I've never been big on being hard & fast on my resolutions. They always seem like rules that I am doomed to break as soon as I set them. This year, I want to go for these big, general goals. If I don't fulfill them every day, no worries. But if I can get a few right most days, I will be a better person & stronger nurse for it.
I want this year to be about building a stronger foundation of ME. That way I can be a strong foundation for YOU. Want to do it together?
Happy New Year!!! Let's help each other succeed & grow throughout 2018.
- Sarah @ New Thing Nurse