It turns out you actually cannot pour from an empty cup...
Every nurse, doctor, and health care worker on this Earth has heard the terms "self-care", "resilience", and "mindfulness" more in the last nine months than - I would argue - ever before. As it turns out, there's really something to it!
As a bedside hospice nurse, death is no stranger to me. Admittedly, I felt invigorated by the "challenge" SARS-CoV-2 presented at the beginning of this pandemic (from a physiological perspective, anyway). However, I quickly sobered up to the realization that the grief and loss patients, families, AND staff are experiencing is next-level.
The sheer fact that I get to be a nurse and care for people at one of the most sacred times in their life has always been enough... to keep me grounded, to get me out of bed each day. But, I hit a breaking point - mentally, physically, and emotionally.
I ultimately gave myself the gift of grace. I took a step back to reflect on all I have been through personally and professionally over the past few months in order to calculate an intentional action plan for moving forward. What I realized? Self-care and mindfulness do not have to be big, glamorous acts like they are often cracked up to be. News flash: we do *not* have to book a full fledged spa day in order to take care of ourselves.
Instead, I have committed to upgrading small, ordinary moments - just a bit - to meet the challenges that come with each passing day. House needs vacuuming? Plug into your favorite podcast while you do it. Have a bunch of errands to run? Bring a yummy mug of tea and blast your favorite tunes in the car. Going for a run? Wear your favorite funky socks.
This all may sound cliche. But, let me tell you - there is such power in making such small shifts in your day. Also, if I'm being honest, it's given me a degree of control back that I felt has been missing since this pandemic has run rampant all over our society.
Sure, the challenges will still be there tomorrow. Patients and families will still be grieving difficult losses. Papers need to be written, and more Zoom meetings must be had. The difference? If I am more intentional, and make things *feel easier*... well, that is a good, solid place to be.
It took a global pandemic for me to realize you actually cannot pour from an empty cup... and how I keep it full is up for me to decide.