Oftentimes when someone learns what sort of nursing I practice, they immediately respond as if they are in some state of grief. They instantly regret asking, followed by that face... and I am immersed in their sympathy. They grimace at the thought of being surrounded by death, bearing witness to those repeatedly battling with the dreaded “C” word…
The famous question I could really do without hearing again is… How do you do it?
I could give a cliché answer and have been known to do such when in a time crunch, or as deterrence from conversation. But let’s be real, shall we?
What I witness daily could be the basis for every tragedy or romance novel ever written. I get a free pass into some fantastic love stories, lifelong marriages, and passionate recollections as I explore the memoirs of those with chronologically and/or experientially old souls. On the flip side, the tragedies could put nightmares to shame.
The gift of intuition sometimes leaves me in a state of exhaustion. Getting to closely know people during those rough times and investigating every detail of their case and persona, attempting to make things at least tolerable for them, can be daunting. My energy is pulled from me every hour as I walk those concrete floors, enclosed in those cold, concrete walls without a view. It sounds like torture, but I love every second of it, especially when I collaborate with some of the best health care professionals in the country and find answers, resulting in relief, smiles and laughter.
Add in the high expectations of visiting, regulatory agencies, who don’t provide direct patient care themselves and don’t seem to understand why we need water near our workstation… It’s no surprise why we are drained and dehydrated at the end of our workweek.
So… what was the question again? Oh yeah… How do I do it? The answer is simple, yet pursuance of such can seem complex. I strive for balance.
In order to balance death and loss, we need to experience life, nurture and love it, appreciate it, grow it, create it, restore it, and surround ourselves with it... Life takes on so many beautiful forms; we just need to figure out which appeals to us the most. Nature is comprised of some stunning elements: fire, water, air, and the earth itself.
Although it is rewarding, I’m not going to advise that you go plant a tree, because everyone isn’t a gardener. In a world where I feel I am constantly losing battles, and people… I have found it can be rejuvenating to:
*Restore and appreciate an old piece of wood furniture
*Enjoy the warmth and comfort of a fire pit
*Go outside and just breathe…slowly.
*Play in the dirt
*Watch and listen to the rain…dance in it if I so choose.
There are so many sources out there to restore our own energy. Finding what helps us maintain balance may be one or a combination of things. Remember to indulge because we deserve it. To find balance, cultivate the core of what makes us human. We are, after all, derived from nature and destined to return one day…
Sara E. Smith, BSN, RN, OCN is a guest blogger for the thenaturenurse.com. She has practiced nursing for roughly ten years on an inpatient adult hematology oncology unit, and has recently begun instructing peers on the subject of psychosocial distress management of oncology patients. She welcomes comments, feedback, and questions from readers.
#wellness #healing #nature #health #outdoors #nursing