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My Mental and Physical Stamina Have Improved Tremendously

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My job is physically, emotionally, and spiritually taxing, and at the start of 2017, my body was feeling the toll of full-time acute care Nursing. I was popping ibuprofen multiple times a day and cried after my shifts because my body was not tolerating the demands of the shift. I absolutely LOVE Nursing, and what scared me most is that an injury or an accumulation of micro-injuries would ultimately prevent me from being at the bedside. I found myself at a crossroads and decided to be proactive and make some changes. I believe, inherently, like most nurses I know- I am really good at caring for others, but not so good at loving myself- so I decided to practice self-care as passionately as I care for others. The timing was perfect- like a perfect storm, our unit began to celebrate mindfulness and integrative approaches to healing, the hospital gifted me with a pedometer, and my coworker downloaded a little app that would become one of my daily motivators and forms of encouragement. In the past year, the Choose well program has inspired cohesion between disciplines and provided a fun source of motivation between AM and NOC shifts in the form of challenges and step counts. My list of buddies continuously grows, and we have great fun raising the bar for one another and encouraging each other to get active and inspire one another on fitness journeys. A multidisciplinary team of five of us were even in the top 20 of a corporate-wide step challenge that ultimately gave us a shout-out in the hospital newsletter. Most importantly, through the help of this app, I have lowered my resting heart rate, improved my endurance, and not only tolerate my 12h shifts (without ibuprofen) but also run 2-3 miles BEFORE each shift. My mental and physical stamina have improved tremendously, and I now feel energized after my shifts rather than depleted. I feel blessed that I work for a company that recognizes and encourages us to be our best selves, even with an unexpected financial bonus to boot! I feel physically, emotionally, and spiritually stronger now than I have in years, and that translates to the improved quality of care I am able to provide in my practice. I appreciate this journey of mindfulness so very much and am so happy to encourage the same for others. Thank you!