Connection is Self Care

There have been many moments in my Nursing career that I have felt disconnected from my true purpose.  The nature of our intense work, has us facing endless stressors to our bodies, minds and spirits. In as little as an hour, I have felt lost and then found, tired and then, bolted awake, bored and extremely busy, dejected and hopeful, and frustrated one minute and happy the next!  This constant swing in emotion, with the heavy toll on our physical body can cause us to become self-depleted and void of the joy we felt when we first began our nursing careers, or in some cases, the beginning of our shift. 

I know you have felt this too.

One way to become re-connected to our joy in Nursing is to connect with our colleagues. Connection with peers, associates, colleagues, coworkers and friends helps us link back to our innate need to belong. Recently I attended the Tucson Nurses Week Foundation Nursing Conference and Healthy Fair in Tucson, AZ (http://www.tucsonnursesweekfoundation.org/).  This is an annual event inviting Nurses in the Tucson area to share and collaborate about all things Nursing.   It’s also a great time to network and meet new friends who share the same passion for caring.  Over 300 Nurses attended and the healing energy emitted from the building was insane!  I’m sure you can imagine 300 interconnected Nurse-brains-and-hearts chatting, laughing, learning, growing, listening and loving. The image of it makes me smile.  I met so many incredibly inspiring Nurses who are pioneers of research, practice and innovation in their community.  It was uplifting to hear Nurse-patient success stories while sipping tea at the breaks, and energizing to sit shoulder to shoulder learning from our Nurse leaders.  Nurses know amazing things that are imperative to enhance our practice and commitment to our patients; they were shared in that space and I was honored to witness every moment.  Nurses are fun and spirited.  The experience infused joy and hope directly into my heart and mind.  Thank you Tucson Nurses Week Foundation for your commitment to the Nursing community, you bring light, love, positive energy and hope to our profession. 

My message to you fellow Nurse, connect with other Nurses, share your stories during breaks, go to conferences for collaboration, see your colleagues as friends and allow them to connect to your heart and mind to help you stay whole and healthy.