If I am going to be honest, being a #workationwarrior through travelling as a Registered Nurse is not always a walk in the park. Friends and family tend to have a perception that travel nursing is always about the adventures and flexibility within a demanding career, which it can be, but that is not the entire picture. There is an understanding that in order to have an optimal work-life balance you must get to the root of happiness and make time for oneself; although, is that not what self-care is all about? It is almost a cliché at this point to say that self-care is more than yoga, bubble baths and getting outdoors as that is what it is seen as through the eyes of the average person. But then what is it?
To me, self-care is having honest introspection and getting to the core of my own values and needs as a nurse, daughter, sister, friend and human. It is picking up the extra shift when I am feeling motivated and empowered by being a member of the team for a birth but saying no to over time when I am mentally and physically exhausted and not able to deliver optimal care. I practice self-care by listening to my body and reacting based upon those cues, not what I think I ‘should’ be doing. It is easy to get caught up in this fast-paced world of productivity, money, and movement. Sometimes what is best for me is to shut it out and put myself as a priority for once. I take the time to write, read, nourish and explore at my own pace. Travel nursing gives me endless opportunities to feed my creative outlet through nature, culture within Canada and new landscapes that inspire all aspects of my interests. I enjoy the ability to meet people I otherwise would not and become refreshed from each diverse perspective where, in turn, I grow.
As nurses, we are tirelessly there for our patients, but cannot forget about ourselves. Self-care isn’t selfish. Self-care is the backbone to our ability to function personally, publicly and professionally. However, self-care practiced is uniquely to our own and should be honoured in each way!
– Ashlyn B, RN – Bracebridge, ON