Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ - #healthynurse Spotlight Series - Christine Pabico, PhD, RN, NE-BC, FAAN
Nurse prioritizes her wellness through faith, gratitude, and social connection.
Faith, gratitude, and social connection. Those are 3 motivators that keep Christine Pabico, PhD, RN, NE-BC, FAAN, aiming for a healthy lifestyle. All 3 play a role in helping Christine prioritize her well-being, especially during times of stress.
As Director of the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) Pathway to Excellence, Christine’s workday is mostly spent on all-day meetings. Throughout the pandemic, she noticed that working virtually and sitting in front of a computer was negatively affecting her health. That’s when she made the conscious decision to walk between 30 to 60 minutes every day.
Christine upped her game when the Philippine Nurses Association of Metro DC (PNAMDC), for which she is the President-Elect, launched a Steps Challenge. Members share their step counts and pictures of their daily walk in a group chat. Other people’s posts have served as inspiration and a competitive push to get everyone moving.
“People often use the excuse that they don’t have the time to exercise,” said Christine. “It all depends on how you want to use your time.”
She stays accountable by scheduling her walking sessions into her day. Christine often has conflicting meetings, so to catch up on any that she missed, she listens to the recordings as she walks. This helps her to feel productive while getting her steps in.
Social Connection and Health
Connecting and bonding with others is a huge part of Christine’s well-being, too, — and it helps her enjoy walking more. By exercising with family, friends, and even neighbors, the sense of camaraderie holds her accountable.
“One of the great things about the COVID-19 restrictions being lifted is that we can see people again,” said Christine. “You can’t underestimate the power of human connection in improving your well-being. Seeing other people energizes me and refills my cup.”
A Foundation of Faith
Faith is another major driver behind Christine’s overall wellness. She prays daily with her husband and daughter. With most Filipinos being devout Catholics, PNAMDC offers nightly novenas (Christian devotional prayers) where members pray the rosary together.
“It’s something that the association started in 2020 to help us cope with the pandemic,” said Christine. “Now, devotions go beyond the pandemic — the association has kept it going because it helps with everyone’s well-being.”
For Christine, focusing on her faith is like a constant reminder that God is with her through it all, she says.
Little Ways to Stay Well
Gratitude is the last piece of the health puzzle for Christine, who says that having a grateful outlook improves her life. She loves that gratitude doesn’t require much time or effort — it’s a simple mindset that anyone can incorporate into their lifestyle.
For example, Christine has a gratitude board next to her computer. At the end of each workday, she writes down one thing she is grateful for. It helps her end the day on a positive note and remind her of her blessings. It’s a quick and easy tactic that has a positive impact on Christine’s mental and emotional wellness.
Nurses don’t have much extra time to do more than what they’re already doing. Christine acknowledges this, and recommends that nurses:
- Make the decision to invest in yourself: You are worth the investment, but only you can make that decision. We all have the same amount of time in the day. Prioritize yourself.
- Start small: There are so many things that don’t require much time but still impact your well-being. Finding one thing to be grateful for each day is a good place to start.
Christine Pabico, PhD, RN, NE-BC, FAAN, is the Director of the Pathway to Excellence Program at the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She is also the President-Elect of the Philippine Nurses Association of Metro DC.
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Love all of this!! A challenge is what got me started and accountable on my journey to a healthier lifestyle. And yes, scheduling walking/working out into my day definitely made the difference!