Work to Live - The Ultimate Balancing Act of Mind, Body and Spirit

This year’s National Nurses Week theme, focusing on the balance of mind, body and spirit, reminds us of this delicate equilibrium, as we strive to guide our patients to optimal health. Each day, nurses deliver amazing and extraordinary care to those that seek our assistance. What about the nurse’s optimal health? The delicate balance of maintaining our well-being directly impacts patient care and satisfaction.

The Delicate Balance of Our Well-Being

During the swift passing of our days, it is so easy to focus on the well-being of our patients, friends, family, coworkers and loved ones while navigating the challenging changes in healthcare. What happens when we don’t direct our attention to the delicate balance of our own well-being? High levels of stress, poor health, burnout, and ultimately, departure by some from the profession.   

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As a nurse informaticist for the past 25 years, I frequently evaluate my work-life balance to determine whether I am paying attention to my own well-being. Demands of projects, tight timelines, support calls and the never-ending advancements in technology can easily distract me from my work-life balance. To be honest, I have not been in balance and have needed to find ways to assertively remind myself to avoid this cycle.

The Balance Check

Recently in my office, I placed a post-it reminder on my computer monitor… “Live to work, work to live. Live to eat, eat to live. Live to love, love to live. Keep your eye on the prize.”

This reminds me daily to check if I am in balance. For me, I need a daily reminder, or I allow myself to get lost in the sheer demands of work schedules and timelines. To be honest, in the past there have been times I have found myself in the mode – living to work.   

If I find the “Live to work” is answered with a yes, it becomes a quick opportunity to readjust and rebalance that day or make adjustments to a future day. Over the past few years, I plan a day off or a weekend away to reconnect with my family and friends, take a walk along the lake, plan time to pull out my camera or a good book, and even, plan a healthier menu for the next week; these activities are sometimes all that is needed.   

So how can nurses ensure they are maintaining a balance of mind, body and spirit to ensure optimal health for themselves? Consider what you can do to develop a self-care plan that connects with your interests and schedule.

Mark Your Calendar: #Nurses4HIT Twitter Chat during #NursesWeek, May 10 – 1 p.m. CDT
  • Take time to rejuvenate and fill your spiritual “tank” through meditation and self-reflection.
  • Connect with friends, family and community through social gatherings.
  • Routinely unplug from technology and electronic distractions; clear your mind.
  • Commit to healthy nutrition and exercise.
  • Discover stress-reducing activities (i.e., yoga, crafts, arts and reading).

When nurses take time for self-care, they can attain optimal health, and decrease stress and burnout. And when we can do this, we can do what we do best…quality patient care and satisfaction.

During this year’s celebration of the nurse, take time to evaluate your balance of mind, body and spirit while sharing your passion for this great profession!

Celebrate National Nurses Week with HIMSS and attend this complimentary webinar.

May 12, 12:00 p.m. CDT: The Evolution of Technology Informatics Guiding Education Reform: The TIGER Initiative

Blog posts in the HIMSS National Nurses Week series:

Breathe, Exhale Slowly and Revitalize during National Nurses Week
Finding Your Balance
The Artists of Healthcare
The Role of Nursing and Nursing Informatics in Population Health
Setting a Solid Foundation for Any Nursing Informatics Role

National Nurses Week