Nurse Notes: Improving Self-Care

Jo Anne Blackstone,
St. Peter’s Faith Community Nurse

May is Mental Health month and taking care of yourself is so important, especially now. Take a few minutes to read these great tips from Mental Health America (www.mentalhealthamerica.net).

Have you noticed that you aren’t quite feeling like yourself? Have you noticed that you’re feeling more anxious, restless, sad, lonely, or not sleeping well? If you normally experience these feelings, are you feeling them more intensely than you usually do? It’s probably a good idea to ask yourself if you are doing enough self-care. In this isolating, stay-at-home time, many people are spending more time reflecting on the past—what you did, how you could have handled a situation better, or treated someone better. Are you feeling like you can’t get out from under the discomfort of this situation? I hope you will look at these examples of ways in which you can help yourself in this difficult time.

  1. Each day think of 3 things for which you feel thankful, and then express your thanks.
  2. Check up on your mental health. There are several reputable, no-cost online mental health screenings. Or consult with your health care provider or a member of the clergy for a referral for a counselor.
  3. Work your strengths. Do something that you’re good at to build self-confidence, then tackle a tougher task. You’ve got this!
  4. Keep it cool for a good night’s sleep. The optimal temperature for sleep is between 60–67 degrees F.
  5. Think of something in your life that you want to improve and figure out what you can do to take a step in the right direction.
  6. Experiment with a new recipe, write a poem, paint, or try a Pinterest project. Creative expression and overall well-being are linked.
  7. Feeling anxious? Channel your inner child and do some coloring for about twenty minutes to help you clear your mind. Pick a design that’s geometric and a little complicated for the best effect.
  8. Take a break from news programs. Limit yourself to thirty minutes per day or stop altogether (if you are able). If you can’t tolerate just thirty minutes, at least decrease your watching as much as you can.
  9. If something has been bothering you, let it all out by writing on paper, typing, or using a journal. Let it all out!
  10. Take a thirty-minute walk in nature—it could be a stroll through a park, or a hike in the woods. Take your dog for a walk. Research shows that being in nature can increase energy levels, reduce depression, and boost well-being.
  11. St. Peter’s offers prayer and fellowship with Morning and Evening prayer with a great group of members online. It will cover a few of the suggestions at one time.
    – Morning Prayer – 8:00 a.m., Monday-Friday: Online: https://www.st-peters.org/morningprayer
    – Evening Prayer – 5:30 p.m., Monday-Thursday: Online: https://www.st-peters.org/eveningprayer

Be well and take good care,

Jo Anne Blackstone, St. Peter’s Faith Community Nurse