know thy self (care) 

You know what they say, there is no care like self care! (jk no on ever said that but maybe I should trademark it?) I personally am loving that self care is cool, NPR wrote a blog post this past summer ” The Millennial Obsession with Self Care” and that alone is so exciting! If you guys follow me on Instagram you know that I am currently in a Holistic Nursing Program, I have my RN license but my heart is really in integrative medicine. I have been pretty busy with school and looking for and turning down jobs (more on that later) but I promised that I would talk more about what I have been learning in class! This post is all about embracing self care and really getting to know yourself.

Note: I am still practicing all of these tips myself, we are all always going to be works in progress… or should I say masterpieces in progress. 

I am currently in four classes:

  • Pathophysiology
  • Cultural Paradigms
  • The Nurse as Facilitator of Healing
  • Theoretical Foundations of Holistic Nursing

It has been about two weeks since I have started classes and I am so grateful and excited for this experience. I am learning so much not only about helping and healing others but about helping and healing myself! All of my teachers are constantly reminding us that in order to heal others, to help others or to love others we have to be able to heal, help and love ourselves. This my friends is why self care is so important!

At the beginning of almost every class we start with a group meditation (my classes are all online and we have a type of webinar set up where we can see and speak to each other through our computer webcams). Doing this has been a constant reminder of how quick and easy it is to do a meditation, be it a guided meditation, a mindfullness meditation or musical meditation. It puts your mind into a place of relaxation and stillness that we all deserve. Even if it is 5 minutes!

Here are a few pointers to self care with simple ways to start!

Develop a Daily Routine: 

  • relaxation
  • meditation
  • prayer
  • yoga
  • communion with nature
  • any other form of contemplation (drinking tea and sitting in your favorite chair, taking a walk in nature, simply being mindful while food prepping, showering, doing the dishes, driving, etc)

Setting Wellness Goals (SMART goals) 

  • specific
  • measurable
  • attainable
  • relevant
  • time bound

Ex:

-I will get to bed before 11:30pm at least 3x this week so that I can reduce stress and wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start my day and  hopefully being more productive. (this is mine right now and I’m going to be honest I haven’t done it once, my boyfriend and I started watching westworld and are binge watching it, but i will get back on track!)

I will set an alarm to meditate during my lunch break every other day so that I can relax, focus and let my mind be still with the hopes that I can be present and productive for the rest of the day. 

I will be mindful of my self talk while driving and repeat my mantra  (make a mantra for yourself) three times if i being to speak negatively. This will remind myself that I am worthy and capable of anything I want and desire! 

The possibilities are endless. The trick is to start small, don’t set yourself up for defeat by saying you are going to meditate for 30 minutes every day. We all know that it is hard to break habits and it is also hard to build them. When we start small we feel good about our progress which then motivates us to do more!

Some other little tips:

  • Choose self care activities that fit into your lifestyle and are also things you enjoy! Not everyone likes to meditate and that is okay, choose something that is health positive that helps you relax, exercise, washing your face, dry brushing, listening to peaceful music, playing an instrument, journaling, driving with the windows down, using essential oils, etc (at the same time, I’m going to tell you that drinking a glass of wine everyday after work doesn’t quite count.. haha)
  • Consider these self care practices as important as food and sleep.
  • Build up your self care routine slowly!
  • Look for opportunities to practice with others if you feel comfortable doing so.
  • Be kind to yourself, as I said it is a process.

Things I do that I consider to be self care:

  • Eating healthy and being mindful of the products I use. Also being mindful while eating, trying not to go on my phone, etc.
  • Making my morning matcha or tea and listening to music before I start my day
  • I made a list of Intentions/Positive Affirmations/ Goals and I recorded myself saying them. I listen to this recording and repeat it 2-3x a day. To me it is a form of relaxation but also practicing the law of attraction.
  • Personal hygiene: washing my face, brushing my teeth (with charcoal first then toothpaste), wearing clean comfortable clothes, keeping my house clean and clutter free, trying to get out in nature or keeping my windows open in my house, keeping plants and flowers around to give my space life!
  • Visiting my holistic practitioners: this is not daily and not always weekly either. I go as I need and as I can afford. I currently see someone who practices biomagnetism, cell regeneration and my aunt who does crystal healings/therapies while doing a deep meditation. I also get acupuncture done and have recently been doing cupping to myself on my face and body. You just have to find what works for you!
  • Treat yourself every now and then! Buy a new robe, get a massage, buy yourself comfortable or new running shoes or having a piece of dark chocolate. The investment we make in ourself is so important and we often times don’t make it a priority.
  • Constantly practicing Self-Love, Self-Discovery, Self-Awareness and Self-Reflection. I work so hard to not only be healthy but to feel healthy. To me feeling healthy and happy is everything and it is often something I struggle with. Over the last month or so I have grown so much just by doing simple things:
    • I built myself a desk, now I have a work space and I feel like I can conquor the world.
    • I stopped working at two jobs that were not fulfilling me any longer.
    • I have been stopping my negative self talk and make sure I am nice to myself!
    • I have been working really hard in school and have been reading like crazy, i have such a thirst for knowledge right now it is exciting!
    • I question things that I do and beliefs that I have; am I really bad at running or do I just not want to do it? Did that person cut me off on purpose? It is worth it to get angry?
  • LAST AND FINAL THING ( for now) S  A  Y  I  N  G   NO ! We all know deep down what we want from life and also what we don’t want. We have the right to say no to situations, people or things that do not serve us. I have one quick (it is actually kind of long) story from this past week related to saying no:

In May I graduated from nursing school and in July I passed my NCLEX and received my RN license. This was such a big accomplishment and I am so proud of myself but truthfully I wasn’t very excited to start working in a hospital setting. I did not have a great experience on my floor in the hospital as a patient care associate and it made me feel disappointed about what working in the hospital was going to be like. Regardless I decided to apply to a few jobs in the hospital and went in for an interview with the nurse recruiter. She set me up for an interview on another floor later in the week. I went in with a positive attitude I ended up leaving the interview feeling SO excited. The nurse manager was so nice and I loved the feeling on the floor and the other nurses that were working there! When I left I felt pretty confident about our conversation and I anxiously awaited an answer.

So a week went by and I didn’t hear anything, then I got a call last Friday saying that she decided to go with someone else due to my school schedule. The nurse recruiter said she was going to set me up on another interview for another floor for the up coming Tuesday. Although I was disappointed I didn’t let it get me down, everything happens for a reason right?

Monday comes around and I see that I got a missed called from the hospital, then I see that I have an email with the title, ” Job position on the [floor that I wanted] at MMC”. I continued reading and saw that it said Full Time- Nights, my heart basically dropped. Here I am hoping to get a job on a great floor and after being told I wasn’t chosen… only to then get an offer. The only problem- I know that I can not work over night shifts. These shifts are 7pm-7:30am, 3 days a week. I sat there trying to convince myself that I could do it! It was only 3 nights a week right? This was a career, I would have a real job with benefits and everything!

As I sat there trying to convince myself that I could do it, my boyfriend (luckily) was reminding me how much sleep effects the way I feel and that my health has been up and down and it seems like I am finally getting it under control. I knew that I had to say no, but how was I possibly going to be able to say no? My boyfriend gave me some pointers and wished me luck as I paced back and forth with a pit in my stomach. I called, ring , ring, ring – no answer. I took a deep breath and left a quick message.

A minute later she calls me back. She answers the phone so excited, ” After speaking with _____ we have decided to offer you the position for Full Time RN- Night Shift!”… there was a brief silence as I tried to figure out exactly how I was going to say this? My response:

I am so sorry but I am very torn right now. As much as I wish I could say yes I know that working over nights would be detrimental to my health and although I am eager to start working , I cannot sacrifice my health.

We spoke about my blood sugar and how hard I have been trying to stabilize it. She was so understanding and said that she was so proud of me for putting myself first and that no one knows your body better then you. If you aren’t going to take care of yourself then who is?  She said she knew that I would find the perfect job for me and that she would be in touch if any day shifts came up. That was officially the hardest No that I have ever said.

I know what I want from my future career and at this point in my life I know that I do not need to settle. I have done so much work on myself from my health to my education, I know that I deserve exactly what I want! That being said I will continue to evolve in my life and self care journey! I am so excited about what is to come.

I hope that this post has helped you guys! Any questions, comments, suggestions please contact me on here or my instagram. I love chatting about pretty much anything! I added some links here to other articles and meditations that I enjoy!

“Self Care Is Not Selfish” 

You can take this quiz to assess where you are and where you need to improve!

What is Self Care?

Free Guided Meditations– you can choose from 5-20 minute meditations ( there are some in Spanish too) I also use youtube!

45 Simple Self Care Practices  

134 Activities to Add to your Self Care Plan

50 Self Care Ideas

Spotify Play Lists ( I am going to make my own soon but these are a few I listen to!):

Relax & Unwind, Acoustic Covers, Yoga & Meditation, Relaxing Classical,  Calm Down… there are honestly so many choices! One of my favorite things to do on spotify is click the “Moods” playlists and choose how I’m feeling or how I want to feel and listen to that play list. Music plays a role in how we feel too!

Ted Talks About Self Care

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