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Bringing Back The Joy In Nursing

As nurses, we see all sides of humanity.  I remember as a student doing my pediatric clinicals, we had a small toddler in an oxygen tent while its mother was smoking in the restroom when the child started to cry.  She handed her belt out from behind the door with the instruction, “Here, use this.”

Again … you see all kinds.  On the flipside, we also see all of the beautiful celebrations of life and family interactions as well.

While working evenings as a nurse, I would come home after my shift and watch TV in an attempt to “wind down.”  Eventually I would fall asleep only to wake up the next

morning, go work out and grab a bite of lunch before I punched the time clock again that afternoon.

I really had no time for myself and not much of a life.  Although I loved being a nurse, I found that I had lost my joy.

As children, it seems we experience joy in just about every moment.  Here at home, my daughter, Jillian, is my little “joy factory!”  Either she’s smiling or grumpy (but mostly smiling); there’s no in between.  She has the ability to create her own joy all the time.

I took a lesson from Jillian and tried an experiment, which I offer for you to try as well.  It’s called 5 Minutes of Joy a Day and here’s how it works:

Each day, try to find at least 5 minutes of something that makes you truly happy.  I’m not talking about just relaxing, but something that makes you really happy and makes your heart sing!

Do you love listening to music?  Do you enjoy smelling fresh flowers?  Savoring a piece of chocolate or watching the trees swaying in a breeze?  Anything that makes you happy.

Find that bit of joy and then set aside 5 minutes, or longer, each day to revel in it.

Everyone one of us can find at least 5 minutes each day in which to find joy.  It may not be as easy as when we were children but it CAN be done.

Take this as a challenge from me and let me know how it goes for you.

If you are experiencing joy on the outside of work, it will overflow into your work as well.

 

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About Lorie A Brown, R.N., M.N., J.D.

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