Sheena D. Pracyk
We are proud to shine the spotlight on Sheena D. Pracyk this week.
For most of my adulthood, being a nurse wasn’t just my job; it was my life and an integral part of my self-identity. My nursing career and experiences have been amazing, giving me my closest friends, a chance to travel and the opportunity to meet my husband. For over twenty years, the levels of responsibility, unpredictable environments, rotating shifts, poor sleep, nutrition and exercise, and constant stress, seemed to have little impact on my health. Due in most part probably to constantly running around, no time to eat, a few fad-diets and a large dose of luck!
My luck ran out when life took an unexpected turn and I became a full-time caregiver for several terminally ill family members. The impact of those years, as some of you may have experienced, took a significant physical & psychological toll.
Looking into my mirror at the end, I didn’t recognize the mid-life, obese, hypertensive, depressed, isolated and grieving woman reflected back to me. My “aha” moment came when I sought advice from my doctor and left with three prescriptions in my hand. Was I to follow my family history and die early from heart disease? As I stood there in tears, I heard my late mother’s voice in my head telling me – No! Do something now to change your future!
I never filled or needed those prescriptions. I joined the YMCA and started working with a personal trainer. I made changes to my diet; cutting sodas, portions sizes and switching to more plant based foods. I found a support group of people that provided understanding, encouragement and guidance to keep me on track. I found things that brought me joy. Along that year’s journey to reclaim and transform my health and well-being, I also realized I wanted to focus on health and prevention rather than disease and death and was drawn towards health coaching.
Building on my nursing qualification, I applied to Wellcoaches™ and recently qualified as a Certified Health and Wellness Coach (CHWC, or Wellcoach™) so I can share my encouragement and support with healthcare providers in the remaining years of my career. I still work on my wellbeing every day, and some days are better than others but we all need to be nurturing a healthy life!
The Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation Grand Challenge embodies the fundamentals of self-care that I believe are so important for maintaining health and wellbeing. As nurses, we have such strength if we advocate for and empower each other. I am proud to participate.
Sheena D. Pracyk, RN, CLNC, CHWC, CWWA
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