With the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, this is a crazy and uncertain time in the world. Especially as nurses and those working in the medical field. We still have to show up, take care of others, all while managing a smile. We don’t get a “day off” because of what is going on. We went to school knowing that if something like this happens we have to show up. And I am not complaining about it, I love being there for others. I thrive in a high stress, high-intensity situation. But even with that being said, it doesn’t mean that this whole process isn’t emotionally or mentally taxing on our well-being.
So, I’ve created a list of 10 things that we, as nurses, can do during the coronavirus outbreak to stay sane and healthy all while working!
1. Continue to Show Up
Work hard, take extra good care of your patients, their family members, and your co-workers. At a time when it can seem scary to leave the house, I urge you to remember why it is you became a nurse. To help. And right now, others need us. But of course, if you’re feeling sick – STAY AT HOME.
2. Practice Self Care
What is self-care to you? Self-care to me is finding a good book or TV show, cozying up in bed, and not leaving until I choose to leave. Maybe self-care for you is putting on a face mask, starting a bubble bath, or opening a bottle of wine and pairing it with chocolate. Self-care can take many different shapes but figure out what that is and practice, practice, practice!
3. Find a Hobby
For those of us in states that have begun closing down (Chicago, LA, NYC, Seattle, and more); take some time to find a hobby that you love. Maybe you’ve been wanting to start running but haven’t found the time. Or maybe you’ve wanted to learn photography? Pull up YouTube and begin learning how to use a camera! Start with baby steps and by the end of this, you may have found yourself a full-blown hobby that you love.
4. Make Time to Catch Up with Friends – Via Phone
Call your loved ones who you haven’t chatted with for a while! While it seems like our lives as nurses go on as normal (we still go to work every day), most people won’t. This is the perfect time to catch them while not a whole lot is going on. Call them and see how they are doing. Or better yet, write them a letter! It may be fun to start a pen pal chain going to look forward to receiving something in the mail.
5. Stay Healthy
Take care of yourself! Continue your workouts, eat healthily, and distance yourself from social media if that’s what you need to do. Focus not only on your body but also on your mind. After all, a healthy nurse is a great nurse!
6. But Indulge if Necessary
Eat cookie dough, call for some pizza delivery, do whatever it is that you need to do to get through this! If you feel like you need to skip your workout for the day, do so! Don’t feel guilty for taking care of yourself. But remember, if you come in contact with someone else (i.e. pizza delivery man/woman) use hand sanitizer.
7. Keep Your Routine as Normal as Possible
Do you work out? Skip the gym for social isolation reasons and instead opt outside! Go for a brisk walk, a jog, or even head outside to doing some squats and lunges. Try to keep your routine as normal as possible while also healthily distancing yourself.
8. Partake in a Movie Marathon
This could be a movie marathon, a Netflix binge, or even a book marathon. I encourage you to call a friend, decide on a movie/tv show/book together, begin at the same time, and then talk about it once it’s over! It may be a fun way to trick yourselves into thinking you’re together even if you’re not.
9. Do What You’ve Been Avoiding Doing
Do those things that you’ve avoided for so long. Cleaning the house, doing the laundry, etc. While the whole world is cooped up do the things that you’ve been dreading. That way once we are free to do as we please again, all of those chores that you’ve been putting off are done! How good would that feel?
10. Reach Out if You Need Help
As a nurse, we often help others without helping ourselves. I highly encourage you to please reach out to someone, anyone, if you need help. If you feel isolated, anxious, or scared… call someone. You can even message me! It’s imperative that as nurses we stick together and support each other through these times.
For more on the recent craziness of the coronavirus, you can read this article to find out exactly what I think about what is going on. And if you’re a travel nurse struggling during this time, read 5 Ways to Cope As a Travel Nurse When You Can’t Travel