What’s Your Self-Care Splurge?

Photo by Andrew Bui on Unsplash

I recently caught up with a nurse friend I hadn't seen for awhile. She is busy. I mean seriously busy. Here's her stats -3 kids under 6 years old, splits her week between the ED and home health, helps coach t-ball and in the middle of all that she is getting her BSN. B-U-S-Y...

Our catch up conversation drifted between kids, work and school updates. In the middle of our chat I blurted out that I didn't know how she did it. She talked about routine, help from her family and having a bright red circle around a date in the summer for a week long vacation to the beach.

And then I asked an important question. One that nurses need to ask one another more frequently. What are you doing for yourself? How are you taking care of you? What is your self-care?

We've all seen the stats. The studies that show nursing is one of the most stressful professions. We give our all at work. We give our all at home. But what is left for us?

Self-care is essential to succeeding in nursing and my busy friend who juggles kids, school and work said her "me" time is a mani-pedi every 2 weeks. She sips her chai latte and reads the latest gossip magazine and has an hour of pampering all to herself.

So what is your self-care splurge?  A nurse friend said he's a part of a Wednesday night dodgeball team while another swears by hot yoga. Share your self-care splurge below and if you don't have one, chat with your nurse friends and find a way to get some "me-time" into your busy schedule.

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26 COMMENTS

  1. On my days off I love to take my German Shepherd Bear out for nice long walks in nature away from everything and everyone. I take a two week vacation every year. I love to mow my lawn and I also get my hair cut and colored every two months. I love my job though. I know I make a difference in people’s lives and that is very rewarding. Been a nurse for nearly 38yrs.

  2. ER nurse here. I work at least 50 hours a week, sometimes more. Between meetings, education, and working towards my BSN (plus the fact that I’m a freakin’ nurse,) and helping to care for my family (including my parents, who have some tough medical problems,) things can get hectic. I get in a massage of some kind at least once a month. Every few months, I get a deluxe pedicure. Every two weeks, I get lash extensions. Other than that, I walk to the dog multiple times a day (for her health as well as mine,) read for pleasure every day, take baths with ebsom salts at least once a week, and spend as much time relaxing with my hubby as I can. I’m getting ready for my first vacation in three years that’s devoted to travel and R&R, rather than fixing the house.

    Honestly, I’m so overworked and stressed out that I’m having legitimate anxiety attacks and GI issues. One of my research papers for school is about nurse burnout and I have all of the signs. I feel like I set aside “me time,” but i often feel rushed or guilty for spending the money/time when there’s so much to do.

    • Jen, there’s a frantic quality to your post. I would suggest you seriously trim back your schedule – 40 hrs work, no more, walk the dog twice, no more, 1 class a semester, however long it takes, enlist your siblings, if you have some, to help care for your parents, more quiet time with your husband, so you don’t become strangers. The rest is fluff. Have you considered counseling to help you determine priorities?
      You sound amazing! But you don’t have to be. It’s ok to just be.

  3. I have been a nurse since 1957..do The math.!!
    (and a CRNA back in my the 60s in Orlando, Fl.).
    My nursing jobs have been varied .. some more stressful than others but most creative for the last 20 yrs.. I’ve owned a care -management co . & it has been the most challenging in my long career in medicine.
    I do all the same things I’ve Just read from other nurses but I guess I would add the silent down time doing nothing.. like sitting on my porch looking out @ the trees & enjoying my sweet, demure kitty. And when I had a new case w/ difficult family members I would pray for the answers to best serve my patient .. always worked.!!
    Now, retired & a great grand-mother I’m reading 2-3books @ a time & smiling about the marvelous legacy I’ve created…started a business when most people were retiring ..and yes, I’ve raised 3 wonderful children ( 3 in 4 years)too while teaching anesthesia & putting my husband thru school!

  4. My me splurge is doing a 45 minute class of barre exercise to start my day, then later in the day sit for 30 minutes and knit or crochet. I walk my dog in the evening for quiet time and stress relief.

  5. Daily tea time and reading uninterrupted (fiction only!) for about 30 minutes. Weekly yoga. Hair and nails every 2 weeks. Every 3 months or so a new dress or bag (not too expensive). Yearly silent retreat in the mountains – all by myself.

  6. I love to read and craft. Two or three times I cook a special meal for my family. I now try to spend evenings with my husband outside watching our furry babies. I pray a lot. But most of all I reflect on why I choose nursing and in my heart I know I am fulfilled. Nursing now for 28 yrs

  7. I volunteer with healthy preschoolers at my children’s school. Reminds me that not all children have chronic disease. I dance in a Danza Azteca group to keep close to my cultural heritage and find peace from within. It’s great exercise too. And I do my nails at least once a month. I look at my hands often when I’m working and I feel proud of what I have achieved. It wouldn’t feel the same if my nails were chipped and broken. I think of self care as a necessity to keep me sane and coming back to give some more.

  8. I raise chickens and ducks, I also garden and read. Most importantly, I have a riding lesson (horses) almost weekly. THAT alone maintains my sanity!

  9. I blast my ear drums to heavy metal/ hardcore in the car on the commute home ( will need new speakers soon)… I walk my dog for 20 minutes when I get home. Once a week I get a Breve with an extra shot with a friend or family member. I try to travel every 3 months, anywhere! I think it’s important to do many things, a bit something everyday to decompress / a special something every week to re-center/ and an amazing escape every few months to get away!

  10. Most everyday after work I stop for a cold one;) …

    Actually, I go to Tropical Smoothie Café and I order the “Health Nut” sugar free, Splenda free, add flax seed and pea powder. Hmmm. this Smoothie is so good and it relaxes me plus it is actually good for me. the fruit in it is mango, blueberries, banana and two scoops of pureed ice.

  11. I have pets, enjoy 1-2 hours of knitting, crochet or crosstitching per week. And will always go traveling (road trip or air) at least once a month. I’m in management and I try to leave the woes of the day as I leave work.

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