It’s that time of the semester again… midterm exams. It seems like every semester, without fail, midterms are right around the time I’m feeling the most stressed and overwhelmed. Maybe it’s because the end of the semester still feels so far away! And it gets exhausting trying to keep up with the demands of school, clinical rotations, and working in between. And some of yall are doing all of this, plus raising kids and a family, and that is like, superhero status! During these stressful and demanding times, remember that self-care is essential!
So let’s talk about some ways to destress, to help keep your sanity during the rest of the semester. 🙂
Self-care starts with giving yourself a break!
Nursing school has a way of constantly keeping us on our toes. We’re expected to always be on top of our studies. And it can wear you out when it becomes the routine, and you may not even notice how tired you really are! Well, at least until the stress creeps up on you and you feel it all at once.
So whenever you need it, just know that it’s okay to take a break. Make some time for yourself to relax and deep breathe. Sit outside and enjoy the beautiful Fall weather, or whatever relaxes you! Remember that your own self-care, both physical and mental, is a priority.
How can you expect to care for patients, remember what you studied, or focus on your test, when you’re mentally exhausted? Well, you can’t! So make your self-care a priority, even if it takes adding it to your to-do list or your planner.
Try methods of stress relief.
My personal favorite self-care activities are getting a pedicure when I want to feel pampered, and going to the gym when I need to destress.
But other ideas that come to mind:
- Get a facial.
- Make a hair or nail appointment.
- Relax with a soothing massage at the spa!
- Listen to calming music while burning your favorite candles or incense.
- Go for a bike ride, do yoga or your favorite workout.
- Spend some time in nature. Watch a sunrise or sunset.
- Make time for your hobby, whatever it may be!
- Read a book that you enjoy (NOT your nursing textbook or class notes!)
- Take a nap. Or sleep in late.
- Spend some quality time with friends or family.
- Make a bubble bath!
- Cook (or take out) your favorite food.
- Retail therapy, anyone?
It’s really up to you! The most important part is taking some time to do something for yourself that makes you feel your best and recharges your energy. (Here’s a list of 100 self-care ideas to try.)
Positive thoughts ONLY!
An essential part of self-care that we often leave out is the way we talk to ourselves. It always seems easier to tell a friend what a great job they’re doing, but not ourselves. We’re our own worst critics. So this is your reminder to be kind to yourself.
You are learning. You are doing your best. And you are doing fabulous!
Messed up? Got something wrong? Not your best test grade? Well, that’s okay! Focus on what you can learn from it and ask how can you do better next time. Failure is our teacher. And truthfully, you haven’t actually failed until you’ve given up.
So keep trying! Remember how far you’ve come. Think about everything you’ve learned and accomplished, and how much you’ve grown from last year, or last semester, or even last week.
Be kind to yourself because you deserve it!
Don’t spread yourself too thin. (Yes, that is a part of self-care!)
I’ll be the first one to admit that I’m not always so great with this. I like to keep myself busy, and for a while, everything feels fine and I’m getting a lot accomplished. But when my “to-do’s” start to pile up, I get stressed, and one tiny setback can easily turn into a big one.
Sometimes we feel like we have to do it all on our own, and we think that we can. But part of self-care is asking for help when you need it. Don’t be afraid to communicate your needs to others. Delegate some tasks to family members when possible. (You’ll be doing this as a nurse anyway, so might as well start practicing now, right?!)
And it’s okay to say no to something if you already have too much on your plate. Or honestly, even if you just don’t feel like it because you’d rather spend time doing something for yourself! You don’t owe anyone an explanation.
Tell me in the comments, what’s your favorite self-care routine? I hope everyone is looking forward to their Fall break and will have some time to relax soon enough!
As always, thanks for reading. ♡