To be, or not to be, that is the question-
William Shakespeare's play, Hamlet.
Do you want to be healthy?
This may seem like a silly question but as a registered nurse with nearly thirty years of experience, you might be surprised that some people will say they don't care about being healthy. They recognize that their behaviors are causing, or leading them down an unhealthy path. They choose those behaviors over healthy ones. As much as we would like to see them choose a healthy path, it is their choice. We healthcare providers try and help them explore why they would want to choose this destructive path, encourage them to access options that may help or at least leave them with a few health resources in the event they change their mind.
The power of our intention, defined as a directed thought to perform a determined action, is a growing science. This is why we need to start with determining where we want to go.
So, I ask again, do you WANT to BE healthy?
If yes, what does health look and feel like to you?
Is your vision realistic?
If yes, what actions are you taking to achieve your vision of health?
For those of you who answered, "Yes, I want to be healthy!", let's get started!
Grab a notebook or a friend and write down- I AM Healthy.
Then write down what that looks and feels like.
Write down what you are doing, and will be doing, to manifest your healthy vision.
If you haven't already gone for your annual visit with your primary care provider, you may want to schedule an appointment. I suggest you consider bringing what you just wrote down. Ask your doctor or nurse practitioner, what they think of your goals. Ask what recommendations they might add to your health definition. Perhaps they may want to suggest some other behaviors that you may want to add based on your health assessment results.
Are you looking to educate yourself about how you can enhance your ability to become a healthier you? I invite you to subscribe to my blog, youtube videos, monthly newsletter and other social media platforms. As a board certified advanced holistic nurse, I have a wealth of information that I am excited to share with you including my favorite health tool-nature. I offer inspiration, motivation, ideas and the latest research on holistic health.
Please share your ideas, questions and success stories too! You are not alone on this health journey.
Let's get healthier together.
Cabin Fever is not an actual ailment; it is characterized as irritability, listlessness, and similar symptoms resulting from long confinement or isolation indoors during the winter. Many Americans are currently experiencing abnormally cold temperatures and record amounts of snow. While I am a strong proponent of getting out into the great outdoors, even I have to admit there are sometimes when staying inside just might be the best thing.
It can be easy to get lured into taking long naps, binge watching series on television or snacking on our favorite comfort foods during this season. Spring is a long way away- March 20th to be exact. If we are not careful, however, we may be regretting our slouching ways as we start peeling off the heavy sweaters and turtlenecks.
So, what else can we do to keep well and occupied during the winter season? Let's look at a few ideas that I have come up with. I hope you will add your own, we have a lot of time to fill.
1. Create an indoor garden. Studies suggest that indoor gardens may have several health benefits including decreasing stress, increasing attention capacity and restorative benefits. Orchids are an easy indoor plant to grow and maintain. Take a look at this VIDEO I made to see how easy it is to create a beautiful indoor garden.
2. Organize. Why wait until spring to clean? We can get started now-purging closets and draws, organizing cabinets and desks, so when the weather becomes warm and inviting again, we are ready to head outdoors!
3. Create Your Own Home Spa. How does soaking in a warm, Epsom salt bath surrounded by candlelight while sipping a warm cup of chamomile tea or wine sound to you? Put your favorite playlist on, close the door and breathe.
4. Phone A Friend. We may think we know how are friends are doing after all we see what they are up to on facebook and maybe we just got a holiday card. But, have you ever noticed that when you actually SPEAK to a friend, you may get a different story? Do you laugh the way you do when you reminisce about the old times? Wouldn't it feel good to hear their voice or know that you made their day by just taking the time to reach out? Go ahead, pick up the phone, give an old college roommate or a childhood friend a call.
5. Dream Of Spring. The sound of birds chirping outside your open bedroom window ushering in fresh, fragrant air may sound heavenly right now. Bright yellow daffodils bursting open in your backyard showing off their resilience may seem days away. We can prepare ourselves to participate in the wonders of spring by watching 'How To' videos such as my VIDEO on How To Create A Container Garden.
Perhaps you are thinking you may want to start or improve on growing your own food. Check out my colleague, The Nurse Farmer, He hosts a VIDEO series on how to grow food and includes the health benefits of vegetables, fruit and herbs. You'll have a blossoming green thumb in no time!
6. Make Believe It Is Warm. My most popular blog post ever, on my author website, has received thousands of hits. Fun Ideas For A Caribbean Book Club Meeting features how to create a book club meeting that just might make you feel like dancing to reggae music in your bare feet. The blog outlines how you can create a warm, tropical book club meeting right in your own home after reading the first of my two-novel series, I Know You're There.
Do any of these ideas sound good to you? What suggestions would you add? We would love to hear them!
Susan Allison-Dean is a board-certified, advanced holistic registered nurse who holds the intention to promote wellness with holistic tools. She specializes in nature and aromatherapy. To learn more about holistic wellness subscribe to this blog or follow Susan on one of her social media platforms which all use the handle @TheNatureNurse.
By now most of us have witnessed the catastrophic damage that Mother Nature has wielded on our planet with ferocious hurricanes in the United States and a deadly monsoon in Asia. As I watched the destruction, loss of life, and cries for help, a question entered my mind. I wrestled with it in my soul for days. How can I profess that nature heals when all of this is happening?
I hold the intention to blend the art of caring with the healing power of nature. That is the mission of The Nature Nurse platform I created. This question created inner conflict swirl inside me. I let it swirl inside, as I jumped in to try and help the nurses on the front line of Hurricane Harvey as best as I could. by creating social media discussion aimed at sending them support and resources. I believe if we want to help the people in these disasters, we need to keep their healthcare team strong.
The nurse heroes selflessly volunteered to step in and care for patients in need, leaving their own families and the unknowns behind. They remained steadfast for days without relief and sometimes without coffee, water, or needed supplies. Throughout it all, they posted a few pictures of their team with huge smiles and words of gratitude that they were going through this experience with the most awesome team possible. They cheered when relief nurses from around the country arrived via military black hawk helicopters. When the waters finally started to recede, they acknowledged the stress and exhaustion as they headed home to assess their own situations- if home was still there.
One might think that what would follow is their list of complaints. Perhaps there were, but I didn't see any sign of that. Instead I saw nurses who made it through the storm with a new set of eyes. A deeper appreciation of what mattered. An excitement and expression of people coming together regardless of color, status, and gender to help other people selflessly, often risking their own lives.
Tweet used with permission.
That is when my 'aha moment' came-Nature Humbles. That is how, in this situation, nature is healing. Healing the rifts in our society. Proving deeper meaning to our lives. Giving us a greater sense of purpose and appreciation.
This is not to say that there wasn't major loss, especially loss of life. As of this post, at least sixty people have lost their lives due to Hurricane Harvey. We even lost one of our own nurse tribe members, Colette Sulcer, a 41 year old surgical nurse who drowned while her three year old daughter clung to her. Her daughter was rescued.
The tremendous energy exchange that occurs when a hurricane is formed is intended to cool the ocean. Nature is only trying to repair the global warming damage that scientists believe we humans have caused. So it stands to reason, if we want nature to rebalance in a less violent way, we need to work together to heal her.
Authors note: If you would like to help the nurses who have been working tirelessly on the front line of the Harvey and Irma situations, you can donate to a special fund established by the American Nurses Association. The sooner we get these nurses back on their feet, the sooner they can help care for their communities. Learn more here: http://ow.ly/AqRM30f6NpP
All of us can recall a relationship with someone where we give, give, give, until we are so depleted, we can give no more. Maybe it was a spouse, a boss, or someone we thought was a friend. It often ends when our own need for survival kicks in and makes us walk away from a blood-sucking situation.
When a relationship is balanced, however, with a healthy give and take volley, it is a treasure. We enjoy giving and we bask in the returned kindness. It's a win-win.
Mother Nature, as powerful as she is, is no different. It appears she loves a reciprocal relationship as much as we do. At least that is what I have seen and experienced. Give to her, and appreciate her, she gives back, tenfold.
Two recent examples come to mind to showcase this phenomenon.
In the tropical, blue waters of the Cayman Islands an idea was born. Rudy Reyes, a former Recon Marine, who had been struggling with Post-Traumatic Stress and Depression after returning home from combat overseas, was transformed into a calmer, smiling person within days of his dive trip with friends. Jim Ritterhoff and Keith Samm, friends of Reyes, recognized the healing effect. The three men linked the need of the oceans' damaged coral reefs with the help these highly trained dive veterans could offer the reefs.
In return, the ocean was willing to help restore and repair the Veterans, who are so often too proud to ask for help. The power of water to heal is a term researcher, Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, calls Blue Mind.
Eager to share the opportunity with other combat divers to once again have a mission-save our coral reefs, Ritterhoff, a marketing expert, and Reyes, created a non-profit organization, Force Blue Team. Force Blue Team has tested the concept of partnering Veteran combat divers with Marine Biologists, as well as mental health experts, to restore coral reefs and improve the mental well being of Veterans, with great success. The program is a win-win for both our oceans and our Veterans.
A documentary film is being created called Mercy, Love and Grace- The Story Of Force Blue Team. I recently saw the premier of the introduction of the film in New York City. It was moving, inspiring, and if you forgive the pun, very deep. I think Dr. Brene Brown would be proud to see how these fierce, tough, men and women open themselves up in the movie and expose their vulnerable, human side. Their candidness on how their military missions have affected them and the joy of finding purpose and camaraderie again through Force Blue Team was emotive.
If you would like to learn more about how to help sponsor the film so that it can be completed, please visit this IndieGoGo page: Link.
Force Blue Team is also looking for donations and corporate sponsors. To learn more, please visit their website or contact them. Their website is www.forceblueteam.org .
Over on dry land another reciprocal relationship with nature blooms. This one in Raleigh, North Carolina, just a few miles from the Capital city.
A drive down Old Baucom Road will lead you to an explosion of yellow sunflowers standing at attention, like soldiers, to the sun. Photographers, families, dog walkers and bikers gather along the white fence surrounding the field to bask in the awe.
While the happy flowers bring immense joy to hundreds who flock to see the massive bloom, they have a greater purpose.
According to the City Of Raleigh, " The fields serve as an application site for biosolids from the Neuse River Resource Recovery Facility. The stabilized sludge (biosolids) is applied to the field as a fertilizer. The sunflowers are planted to keep the nitrogen-rich soil from washing into the streams and rivers in the watershed. Finally, the sunflowers are harvested and the seeds are used to produce biodiesel."
They also are a smorgasbord for our struggling pollinators-honeybees, bees, and butterflies. They were loving them!
Once again, Mother Nature seems thrilled to give back for the efforts to protect her.
To learn more about our reciprocal relationship with nature and how nature can help heal you and promote your wellness, sign up for Sue's blog and/or socialize with her on social media @TheNatureNurse.