One of the most powerful things we can do to take control of our time and start feeling better is to create standards for ourselves. Standards are things that we have committed to doing each day or week that are non-negotiable because they help us show up in the world as the best versions of ourselves!
As nurses, we often allow things that should be our standards to fall by the wayside because we are so focused on taking care of everyone else. These standards can look different for everyone, but the key is to pick things that align with your priorities and your values. Take a few minutes to brainstorm what is important to you, and from there you can create a standard that is meaningful to you. These priorities and values can include things like health, time with family or friends, alone time, hobbies, personal development, adventure, etc. Make sure that you’re focused on the intention behind the standards and focus on why you want to create each standard. Having a why behind each one will help you stick to them when you just don’t feel like it!
Putting a hard limit on ___ minutes of social media per day. When we work long shifts it can be easy to get sucked into social media after work, start mindlessly scrolling, and getting FOMO. This precious time can be spent doing so many other things that fill your cup! Set a limit on your phone and give the passcode to someone who’s going to keep you accountable (because let’s be real, how often do we bypass the limits we set for ourselves?)! You’ll be more intentional with your social media time and have more time for other things when you’re not working.
Committing to ___ days a week to move your body.Moving your body and getting those endorphins flowing can benefit you in so many ways! If this standard resonates with you, make it something that is doable. If you know that you won’t be working out between shifts, don’t set yourself up for failure and create a standard of five days a week. Choose a number that you know you’ll stick with, make it a date in your calendar, and allow yourself to have options for movement choices depending on your energy level. If you just had a long stretch of shifts, maybe you just need a walk or a slow yoga flow. Be flexible with how you’re feeling so that your movement energizes you and doesn’t drain you!
Sleeping ___ hours per night between shifts.So often we don’t get enough sleep, especially between shifts, and this can affect so many things like our mindset, health, mental focus, and more. If you don’t know how much sleep you’re getting, keep track for a week and make a note of how you feel each day, so that you can have a baseline to create your standard off of. To make this sleep standard possible, you might have to forgo other things, like watching a TV show or going to drinks with coworkers between shifts. Remember, these are things you can fit in on other days you aren’t working, and you’ll feel more energized on your days off!
Taking care of ourselves and setting standards isn’t always glamorous but it is so necessary to be able to give to others. Remember to keep your standards as absolute non negotiables. Take time to think of obstacles that will get in your way and create a way to make sure that you are set up for success. Ask for help from your family or friends if you need it! We aren’t meant to do this alone, and by sticking to our standards we’ll show up as the best version of ourselves each day.
We believe you have everything you need inside of you to start feeling better, and standards are a great place to start!