Healthy Nurse, Healthy Nation™ - #healthynurse Spotlight Series - Terri-Ann Kelly, PhD, RN, CPT
Nurse inspires wellness with her videos.
It’s one thing to find balance and practice wellness in your own life. But it’s quite another to put yourself out there to inspire others. Just ask Terri-Ann Kelly, PhD, RN, CPT. She creates YouTube videos that help people take small steps toward wellness in all aspects of their life.
“Many people think wellness just has to do with their physical being,” Terri-Ann says. “But for me, wellness needs to be well-rounded. Doing small things each day benefits how you feel mentally, physically, and spiritually.”
Terri-Ann and her husband, Kyle, started their YouTube channel “Rhoades24Eva” nearly 4 years ago. Since then, their content has been viewed more than 2 million times. They share tips on healthy eating, faith, love, and fitness. But the common message running through it all is that wellness is attainable for everyone.
Making a Connection Between Healthy Eating and Faith
Terri-Ann initially focused her YouTube channel on guiding people through the Daniel Fast — a Bible-based partial fast performed yearly during January. The 21-day fast involves restricting commonly enjoyed foods, such as animal-based and processed foods, as an act of worship.
“I realized that in addition to the spiritual component, there are health benefits to the Daniel Fast,” says Terri-Ann, who does not strictly follow a plant-based diet outside the Daniel Fast. “The goal is to focus on your hunger for God instead of your physical hunger. But, as a bonus, the fast makes many people feel healthier, have more energy, and find relief from chronic aches and pains.”
Terri-Ann now uses her weekly videos to support people’s healthy choices and spiritual wellness, even beyond the Daniel Fast. She touches on various wellness topics, including exercise, natural healing, and daily devotionals. Her healthy eating videos demonstrate plant-based recipes. Terri-Ann gives tips for meal planning and shares how healthy eating healed her ulcer and helps with gastrointestinal issues.
“The recipes I demonstrate are easy for anyone to follow. I show people how to make pesto, salad dressings, and cream sauce with cashews and water,” Terri-Ann says. “You can make delicious food and avoid the preservatives.”
Approaching Wellness From All Angles
Terri-Ann loves that her videos help others with their wellness. But it’s time-consuming. Like many other nurses, Terri-Ann works full-time, juggling her career with her family, hobbies, and self-care. But she’s committed to her wellness because she knows it’s the key to managing everything else.
“I have my research and students — over 100 nursing students — that need my attention,” Terri-Ann says. “That’s my full-time job, and I always want to give my best to my job and the nursing students I teach.” But she often reminds herself of the lesson every flight attendant teaches: You have to put on your oxygen mask first before offering your help to others.
Terri-Ann’s “oxygen mask” is the small steps she takes daily to encourage her growth:
- Spiritually: She takes time each day to focus on her faith. Her devotional might include prayer, reading a Bible verse, or watching a video with her husband.
- Mentally: Terri-Ann journals for 5 minutes each morning and night. It helps her set goals, practice gratitude, and focus on the positives of each day.
- Physically: Each morning, Terri-Ann meets a friend at the gym or goes walking. She starts each day with homemade fruit and vegetable juice — she makes it in batches ahead of time. It helps her start the morning right and gives her energy.
“I’m sure it seems like a lot, and it’s not always perfect,” Terri-Ann says. “But these small things I do make me feel good. And I feel like if I make a commitment to someone, even myself, I’m going to try and honor that.”
Terri-Ann believes that you can do anything you put your mind to — we all have greatness inside of us. To help you on your journey to wellness, Terri-Ann recommends:
- Prioritizing self-care: You cannot truly give your best to the people around you without taking care of yourself first.
- Giving yourself grace: Remember to love yourself in every situation — especially if your wellness isn’t where you want it, or you suffer a setback. You have one body. Appreciate and celebrate it.
- Taking small steps toward wellness every day: Every step you take gets you closer to your goal.
Terri-Ann Kelly, PhD, RN, CPT, is a nurse scientist and assistant professor at the Rutgers School of Nursing — Camden.
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