RSSAll Entries in the "Health and wellness" Category

Kathleen Bartholomew’s “Lessons from Nursing to the World”

Enjoy this Ted Talk given by HCPro author Kathleen Bartholomew. Listen to Kathleen discuss the importance of dismantling the nursing hierarchy that can devalue and shame caregivers and creating an atmosphere of open communication and respect between caregivers which ultimately improves patient care.

 

Rock Your Health: 6 Daily habits you should definitely steal from history’s greatest “Creatives”

Are you exercising your “creative juices” as you move forward with your latest challenges? Did you know that being more creative makes life more fun and improves your health too!  Apparently famous creative people over history use “wellness strategies” to improve their creativity. Check it out!

Napping: Charles Darwin took a nap every day. Studies show that “sleeping on it” really does work. And while the idea of catching a few moments of rest midday may be perceived as lazy, it can actually be way better for productivity than trying to soldier through a particularly sleepy afternoon.

Wellness tip – I do something similar by taking 30 minutes to groove on my Chi Machine for relaxation. Not only do I get a great BUZZ when my Chi (energy) is flowing freely, but I often fall asleep as well!

*How often do you take time for a nap and what benefit do you receive when you do take one?

 

Being social: Lots of history’s greatest thinkers regularly visited and dined with their friends, which can help fend off the loneliness of being a creative entrepreneur.

Wellness tip – I am attracted to others with creative minds and when we are together we are “in the flow” where ideas come easily, they bounce back and forth and we have great fun. And feeling good doing what you love in the company of others like you is good for your heart and soul.

*How often do you tap into the creative juices of your naturally creative employees?

 

Exercising: Charles Darwin took 3 walks per day. Charles Dickens took “strenuous walks” through the countryside. Victor Hugo took long strenuous walks on the beach. Milton walked up and down his garden. Freud walked around Vienna at “terrific speed”.

Wellness tip – Exercise really kicks in my creative juices so I not only receive cardiac health benefits from my Jazzercise class and walking outside, but I also come up with even more ideas I can use. I often have to stop in mid-exercise to write down something brilliant I just thought of.

*What is your exercise routine and what creative thoughts occur when you are doing it?

 

Taking breaks: Giving themselves a chance to do something other than work in the middle of the day, whether it be a lunch with family or a quiet project, was popular with many of the greats. W.H. Auden did the crossword. Charles Darwin played backgammon with his wife.

Wellness tip – Breaks are hugely important for optimal health but I have to schedule them in or they don’t happen. We can work hard, but we need recovery time just like with exercise. So every 2 hours I stop and take a walk, have a cup of tea with a snack, or do a relaxation exercise.

*How often do you take breaks in your day – and make sure your employees do the same thing – to give the body/mind a chance to recover?

 

Decompressing at the end of the day: René Descartes and Charles Darwin both regularly allowed themselves time in bed at the end of every day to think about their day and come up with ideas, and, it’s safe to say, they didn’t do it with the TV on.

Wellness tip – I declare an end time every day or I will not stop working. The computer gets turned off and stays off, then off to exercise class followed by down-time eating and visiting with my husband to wind down for the day.

*What is your plan for decompressing from the day?

 

Sleep: Tchaikovsky, Hugo, Beethoven slept 8 hours each night, Dickens, Franklin, Darwin and Milton slept 7. And the majority prepared for sleep by winding down with reading, playing cards, conversation, listening to music, taking a bath.

Wellness tip – And today the old adage of sleeping 7-8 hours each night for rejuvenation still stands. I make sure the bedroom is dark, the windows are letting in fresh air and because I easily awaken to outside sounds I have a setting on my clock that creates the sounds of rain to block that out.

*What are your sleep rituals and how well are you doing with them?

 

Hopefully these “creative” ideas from past and present will be just what you need right now! And if you need a “Life Coach” who can help you sort it all out, contact me at carol@creatingwellnesscultures.com

Rock Your Health: Retirement is like an Unplanned Pregnancy

Retirement can be a surprise if you are not prepared because you didn’t pay attention to the warning signs.   Here are some “in real time” from nurses currently facing this transition. Check all of those that apply to you as well.

  • I felt like I didn’t fit in anymore
  • I was being challenged on my work performance after years of receiving accolades
  • I experienced “signs of age discrimination”
  • I asked for part-time work or less physically demanding work but was told NO
  • I was let go due to down-sizing and discovered I can’t find another job because I’m “too old”
  • My health from years of physical and emotional stress and strain prevented me from doing my job successfully
  • I reached the breaking point from job stress and knew I needed to leave
  • I was in denial about facing retirement age because I never saw me “not working”
  • I still had so much to give that I didn’t want to leave
  • I had no plan for what to do next or who I would become once I stopped working
  • Add your experience here__________________________

So what’s next for you? The best thing that happened for me was to have a Life Coach to help me straighten out all my confusion and point me in the right direction as I started to re-create myself.

Yes – you can re-create a new and improved life for yourself with all your gifts and talents, and you may even find life becomes better and better and even MORE better!

So why wait? Email me at carol@carolebert.com  and I will give you a FREE Coaching Session over the phone to inspire your next steps for moving thru this NEW transition in your life. No strings attached – just great conversation to help you set the stage for your future.

Dealing with secondary trauma for mass-casualty nurses

Many emergency nurses are used to dealing with badly injured patients and sudden death, but when it comes to caring for victims of mass shootings and their families, the healing process can be very different. Lesa Beth Titus, BSN, RN, a trauma coordinator for Mercy Medical Center that treated victims of the mass shooting in Rosburg, Oregon, told Nurse.com that nurses think they are immune to the everyday tragedies of the emergency department, but the aftereffects of a mass casualty incident were very different.

Studies show that repeated exposure to traumatic events can have a similar effect to experiencing trauma directly; this experience of trauma is referred to as secondary trauma. One study found that about one in three emergency nurses experienced anxiety, depression and sleep disorders, while one in 10 showed clinical levels of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). David Tetrault, PhD, MDiv, who worked as a chaplain at Banner-University Medical Center that treated victims from the Tucson, Arizona shooting, said that a mass shooting adds another layer of complexity, as it calls into question your personal values, which makes coping more difficult.

The public nature of mass casualties can make it more difficult for nurses suffering from secondary trauma as well. The media attention can serve as a constant reminder of the event, delaying the return to normalcy that many seek after a traumatic experience.

What can help nurses suffering from secondary trauma? It’s important to recognize that everyone reacts differently, and it’s important to respect that. Joy A. Lauerer, DNP, RN, PMHCNS-BC, explains: “We know that trauma is long-lasting and that it affects the brain and neurological systems… and some people process trauma more readily than others.” Struggles with trauma can last for years, and the trauma can be retriggered as well.

Basic self-care can have a positive effect on those dealing with trauma; eating well, proper sleep and exercise can all help the healing process. Talking with friends, family and others with similar experience can also help. As a manager, there are variety of stress management tools to help workers, and some hospitals have used protocols developed for first responders for their staff. A staff debriefing can be helpful, but it’s also important to checking in with staff regularly and provide them with voluntary ways to express themselves.

While it might be difficult to consider, having some preparation or training in place for dealing with traumatic experiences can help staff heal. As Lauerer points out, “[Emergency Departments] do a lot of disaster preparation. But I don’t think it ever prepares you for what this is going to feel like.”

To read the “The healer’s journey” article series, click here.

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Rock Your Health: Feeling Out of Balance?

A recent study of more than 50,000 employees from a variety of manufacturing and service organizations found that two out of every five employees are dissatisfied with the balance between their work and their personal lives.  If you are feeling out of balance, what would be the best thing for you right now?

Pay attention to what is happening in your MIND, BODY and SPIRIT and begin moving from DENIAL into AWARENESS. Here is a strategy that might work for you.

  1. Make a list of signs you are experiencing in each of these areas.   Here are some examples
  • BODY – My stomach is tied up in knots and I keep taking antacids all day.
  • MIND – I’ve got too much on my mind of what I have to get done and it gives me headaches
  • SPIRIT – I’m questioning whether I can keep working at this pace the rest of my career.
  1. For each sign, re-write it from a negative point of view into a positive statement
  • BODY – I honor my body by feeding it food that makes it feel good and find I don’t need to take medication because I eat healthy
  • MIND – My mind is free of clutter because I have my priorities in order and know how to say NO
  • SPIRIT – I am at peace with where I am with my work and am looking forward to what is next in my career with renewed energy
  1. What awareness do you now have about how your life could be different?

“What is necessary to change a person is to change his (her) awareness of him (her) self.” Abraham Maslow

Email me at carol@carolebert.com if you need support with getting your life back into balance.

Rock Your Health: The FIX is IN!

Ready for a run-on sentence, which is sure to put you on notice?

Ever have your body turn on you and give you so much pain that you have no choice but to act on it so you start taking medications to ease the pain which only works temporarily and then the pain comes roaring back and now you are really frustrated because you can’t get relief and the doctors tell you they can’t help you anymore with their tools and you will have to deal with your stress in other ways so you finally resort to alternative methods of healing which of course take more time to work than the quick fix you sought from the drugs and find that after you finally cave in and do all those things like learning to do less, taking more time to relax and play, doing relaxation strategies like meditation and yoga, exercising daily, eating healthy food that your body doesn’t reject, taking only the best vitamins and realizing that all these non-drug alternatives actually start giving you relief from the pain that you become a believer and start adopting a healthy lifestyle that gives you back your health! WHEW!

I continually amaze myself that when I get too stressed out from doing too much or going down the wrong life path, I still crash and burn and then have to crawl out of the hole to start all over again – although I do less of it these days since I have learned a lot from those experiences. I now know that I CAN HEAL MYSELF WITHOUT DRUGS but it does take time and maintaining a regular practice of healthy strategies.

What an empowering feeling to be in charge of your own wellbeing! And you can do it too! My latest strategy is EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique or Tapping) that is a “quick fix” and has led to a feeling of profound relaxation almost immediately. Maybe it will help you as well.  Check out www.eftuniverse.com

Keep in mind, healing practices work – if you work them.  What relaxation strategies are you willing to implement in your life to bring balance back into your day?

Email me at  carol@carolebert.com and let me know what stress-related issues you have healed without drugs. We are all in this together!

Rock Your Health: Cleaning Up Your Act

As we enter the Spring Season, I feel the need to clean up my act.  Everything now feels better – more light at the end of the day, waking up to a light sky, chirping birds, walking outside again without slipping on the ice or worrying about walking in the dark, seeing sprouts of greenery and color once again.

That good feeling and renewed energy even compelled me to clean up one shelf in my office and now I not only feel better and more organized, but the empty places on the shelf makes me feel like I can even breathe easier.  Interesting how these simple things have powerful rewards.

So what can you clean up that will provide you with more relief and less stress?

Need support with cleaning up your act?  Email me at carol@carolebert.com and I’ll give you a complimentary laser coaching session.

Rock Your Health: Celebrate Spring!

S – Start a new project that is simple to accomplish but yields great rewards

P – Play often  – schedule “play” time or free time routinely on your calendar

R – Rejoice in the feeling of longer days with more time to enjoy life

I – Improve your attitude and let go of any leftover winter grumpies

N – Notice the good in others and say something about it to them

G – Gather co-workers regularly for fun events

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, ‘Let’s party!'”  — Robin Williams

Email me at carol@carolebert.com for more ideas on how to bring joy into your life and your work.

Sleep vital to nurses’ performance

For many nurses, sleep is an afterthought. With long shifts and busy schedules, it can be hard to make the time for a full night’s rest, particularly for night nurses. But it might be worth the effort, both for nurses and their patients.

Most importantly, not getting enough sleep can put patients at risk. Without proper rest, your decision making and reaction time decreases significantly, which can make the difference in in an acute care setting. It can also affect your recall, which might lead to preventable mistakes like incorrectly assessing a patient’s condition or a medication error.

Beyond the patient safety concerns, lack of sleep can also make it harder to perform all of your duties. Amount of sleep has a corresponding impact on your mood. Without enough sleep, you can feel more anxious and stressed out, making it harder for you to communicate with your coworkers and patients. Additionally, sleep is key staying healthy and in shape; so after a long shift, your sore feet and back won’t recover properly unless you get enough sleep.

Nurses learn about the negative effects of sleep deprivation, but never take the time to take care of themselves. So the next time you think about staying out late or taking an extra shift, maybe consider getting some extra rest instead.

For more information about sleep deprivation, visit the National Institutes of Health’s site.

 

Rock Your Health: How to deal with a dilemma

Recently I was faced with a decision to compromise my belief over yielding to conventional thinking that I now know is in question.  For example, we now know that cholesterol is no longer the cause of heart disease. Inflammation is.  But conventional thinkers may not have changed their thinking on this issue because new information takes time to catch up with everyone.

Because it is my job to educate on health issues and keep people informed with the latest scientific evidence, it is not always readily acceptable to the masses. So the challenge is – do you yield to the old paradigm or do you take the risk of telling the new truth and standing out on a limb?

I remember when I entered the field of wellness and when I tried to educate about it in the healthcare system one physician said to me “there is no such word as wellness.” But I of course forged ahead and now look where we are with wellness – front and center!

So how do you handle this? Please email me your comments to carol@carolebert.com.