Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ - #healthynurse Spotlight Series - Nicole Vienneau MSN, RN, NC-BC
Nurse puts good into the world by coaching others on self-care.
Self-care is a journey of learning. We all ebb and flow and morph at different times in our lives. One day you can think you’re taking care of yourself, only to discover you were missing so much of what you needed.
That’s the lesson #healthynurse Nicole Vienneau learned over the past 12 years. She was exercising and eating nutritious foods, but she was also burned out at her job as a staff nurse. Stepping away from the bedside and moving into another pathway allowed her to discover what spoke to her heart: nurse coaching.
Today, Nicole helps other nurses learn to recognize and address burnout.
“Just because you’re burned out doesn’t mean you’re broken,” says Nicole. “You can connect to your true being instead of only doing things for other people.”
By shifting her focus to helping other nurses, Nicole discovered more sides of herself she didn’t know about — spiritual sides — that help her reconnect to her wholeness.
“Connecting to my spirituality was a huge shift for me,” says Nicole. “I learned how to set boundaries and nurture other facets of me beyond exercising and eating right.”
Mindfulness opened the door to Nicole’s spiritual side. Today, she creates her own guided mindfulness routines, records them, and sends them in an email newsletter to about 700 people.
The recordings are paired with calming music and images. They often focus on gratitude and slowing down. She guides other nurses as they focus on breathing and connecting to a greater good. And Nicole finds peace in knowing she’s putting something positive into the world, sharing her gifts, and helping people.
Beyond mindfulness, Nicole prioritizes other healthy habits to ensure she maintains a well-rounded routine of self-care. These habits involve:
Every day, Nicole does some type of physical activity. Whether it’s cycling, resistance training, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), yoga, or stretching — she loves it all. And it’s not just the physical benefits she enjoys — it’s the mental and spiritual benefits, too.
“I also use movement for reconnection and idea generation,” says Nicole. “All movement brings an opportunity for different types of creativity. For example, yoga is slower and more controlled, and creative ideas can flow from that. Movement helps me get into my body and offers me space in my mind to be creative.”
With nutrition, Nicole focuses on adding a variety of colors to her plate. Reds, purples, greens, oranges — she aims for 6 or 7 colors for each meal. This helps her eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, and fewer processed foods.
The last piece of Nicole’s healthy lifestyle is her relationships. The people she spends time with play a huge role on her mental and emotional health, so she tries to be around those who lift her up. And the Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ Facebook group is the perfect place to join uplifting conversations, which Nicole has done since 2017.
Nicole loves helping other nurses improve their health and happiness in her role as a nurse coach. These are a few healthy living guidelines she stands behind:
- Be gentle on yourself, you’re doing the best you can. Give yourself grace.
- Stay open to new possibilities, they’re all around you. Sometimes changing course can make all the difference.
- Slow down. Take a breath in and let your breath go out. Take time to love yourself.
Nicole Vienneau MSN, RN, NC-BC, is a nurse coach for Blue Monarch Health, PLLC
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