Five tips for sustaining your personal best in a prolonged crisis.
Nurse leaders are at their personal best in a crisis. But prolonged stress can be soul-crushing. Whether you’re working in a hospital command center, continually rounding or fielding emergency management calls, make sure to put on your own emotional oxygen mask first, so you can continue to help others. Combatting COVID-19 will be a months-long marathon. Creating moments of renewal along the way will help us go the distance and finish strong.
Here are five tips to help nurse leaders sustain their top performance.
- Take a break every two hours. Set the alarm on your smart device for every two hours and take a 10- to 15-minute break when it sounds. Encourage your teams to take breaks, too.
- Walk and stretch for exercise. Look for opportunities to get your 10,000 steps in each day (while keeping your distance). Take the stairs when possible and remember to stretch.
- Turn to your higher power. Go to the chapel to ponder and pray. This simple practice saved me during Ebola, nursing strikes and seemingly uncontrollable flu census surges.
- Meditate. Download the Insight Timer Meditation App. It’s free and comes with tens of thousands of meditations with many taking just five minutes!
- See eye-to-eye with your patients. Looking into the eyes of our patients can help us reconnect with our purpose and put the many frustrations we face into perspective.
- Holy guacamole. (Bonus!) Whatever your favorite food is—have some close by. Chips and guacamole are my go-to. Besides, guacamole is a health food, right?