How to Jump-Start your 2016 in 5 easy steps!

The soul always knows what it needs to heal itself.  The challenge is to silence the mind.  ~Carolyn Myss

It’s that time of year when we reflect, remember, and resolve.  For those of us who work in patient care sometimes we put our own needs well below those of those who need us.  Here are some suggestions for true renewal in 2016:

  • Take 5 minutes twice during your shift to go somewhere quiet and just focus on your breathing.  In our busy day, it’s impossible to find 20 or 30 minutes to slow down, meditate and clear our minds.  But taking just 5 minutes, twice during your shift to get away from the beeping IV machines, ringing patient call lights, endless stream of questions and spur-of-the-moment issues will help bring your stress level down, slow your blood pressure, and give your mind a few moments of rest.  Even if it means locking yourself in the staff bathroom!  Try this method:  close your eyes, breathe in through your nose for a count of 4, hold for a count of 4, then exhale for a count of 4.  Do this for a few minutes, twice a day, and you will find yourself with increased energy and better able to serve your patients and fellow staff.
  • Turn off all electronic devices 30 minutes before going to bed. Whether you work the day or night shift, getting a good night’s sleep can be difficult.  Studies show that using electronics (scrolling through Facebook, staring at a computer screen, or watching telelvision) right before bedtime increases the time it takes to call asleep and often keeps us from getting much needed restorative REM sleep.  Try it for 15 days and see if it makes a difference for you
  • Treat yourself. Buy one new item for your workday that will make you smile this year.  It can be a new lunchbag, stethoscope cover, jacket for work, or a new pair of scrubs.  It doesn’t have to be expensive, but it will serve as a reminder that it’s okay to have a little fun and happiness at work.
  • Mentor a new staff member. Remember how you felt the first few days (even months) into a new career?  Find a new member on your team and ask her to lunch or for a quick coffee after a shift.  Let her talk about her concerns, and offer your expertise.  You might find yourself learning from her as well, and you’ll grow in your confidence as a professional and a leader.
  • Write one thank-you note each week—and send it. Gratitude is a surefire way to lift your spirits and foster a positive attitude in you and in others.  It doesn’t have to be a novel, just a few simple words or sentences.  Give it to a co-worker, a friend, a patient—and enjoy the happiness that comes from recognizing others.



Holly Godfrey
Holly Godfrey

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