Nurses, you work hard, and you try to be kind to your patients, their family members, your colleagues, and so many others. But did you know that you deserve kindness, too?
Let’s face it, nurses spend a lot of time caring for others, and often precious little time caring for themselves. Many nurses are martyrs (whether consciously or unconsciously), putting the needs of others before their own needs, and that can take a toll over time. This is sometimes called “The Wounded Healer Syndrome” or any other manner of names, but it’s all essentially the same thing: we care for others first and put our own needs in last place.
Kindness Is Also For You
When it comes to kindness towards yourself, who else is in a better position than you to provide it? Kindness can certainly come from others, but we often need to make sure we get it by giving it to ourselves.
What’s the last kind thing you did for yourself? Have you bought yourself a special treat, listened to a favorite piece of music, taken yourself to lunch, or done something else special just for you?
It’s true that it can be very nice when others are kind to us (and I hope that many people are kind to you every day), but we need to rely on ourselves for kindness as well, making sure that we treat ourselves with kindness, respect, compassion and caring.
It’s Not Easy
For some of us, being kind to ourselves does not come naturally. We may have been taught as children that doing anything for ourselves is “selfish”, or we might feel that we just don’t deserve it.
Well, nurses, any time is a good time to dispel those types of erroneous beliefs, and if you work as a nurse, you’re as deserving of kindness as anyone else.
If cultivating and practicing kindness towards yourself is difficult or a challenge, start slow and small. Buy yourself a latte when you feel the urge to do so. Allow yourself to sleep a little later on Sunday mornings. Take a bubble bath, get a facial or manicure, or do something else special that will make you feel pampered—by you!
Practice Makes Perfect
Practice makes perfect, even where kindness to yourself is concerned, so practice, practice, practice. If you need help, make a deal with a friend to each do something kind for yourselves every day, and keep a journal of what you did, when you did it, how it felt, and what came up for you emotionally. Share this journal with your friend and see what happens over time.
Nurses deserve kindness too, so begin with yourself, nurses!